poetryrepairs 16.01:003

JANET I. BUCK : Lily Bulbs
JANET I. BUCK : The Splintered Broom

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Lily Bulbs

My other half, the better half, bought bulbs online. 100 different lily rounds, in small mesh bags— ones that package heads of garlic in a store. I doubted balls could stage a flower, but he had trust. He crouched and dug 100 holes. Placing them wherever soil looked bare or lonely, waited patiently for years. I'd check the dirt and limp away, enveloped in my waning sight. I was busy dying then, three years before, three years after planting time. In March, I started publishing, haven't stopped except to breathe, eat once in a pale and crusty moon. Skinny as a Blue Jay's legs, I know I'm racing quickened clocks, chasing after unicorns. Yesterday I shut my laptop down for once. My vision dim, a row of lashes on a page— I pulled them out from trying to massage my lids to see again, enough to type, enough to read, enough to see the letters and the syllables that disappear. One little brown circumference was destined as a Poplar tree, that kind of tall— 10 ft. at least. I worry delicate will snap. Another had divvied stems, just my height— lush and full—it stood its ground against high winds that tore the branches from an Oak, scattering their arms and legs across our grass, like brooms some witch had left behind. There was no fence to hold it up. The splay of petals, soft, but firm, weathered what the tree did not. I'm a lousy scholar of faith. This unexpected tower of color—an overriding aria defying storms, pebbled hail, an inch of rain all at once. Blossoms, speckled with magenta spots, dots on dice that strike a six, well, stunned me same as birds in flight hit windowpanes— they thought they had the journey down, but they were wrong, and so was I—

poetryrepairs #220 16.01:003

The Splintered Broom 

Because you loved me so much more when I was whole, I could love you back, easy as a spoon of custard slipping down my open throat. Fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan were whirling in the Cuisinart, the water salted, bubbles bouncing, full as grapes inside a pot, the kettle waiting patiently – a crusty loaf of sourdough ready for the broiler coils. That was then and this is now, souvenirs of memories with paint that's stripped by chronic pain rivet me like ivory, speckled, dizzy moths, confused by walls but needing them to light and land. If I could, I'd take a pistol, shoot the ghost of who and what I used to be, but this won't pass the test I failed, won't sketch a castle from the ruins. Without a way to pose against a coming fall, there is no war – no muscle tone, just battle zones with thriving weeds, just silence and absentia. I swat the moth with waving hands. Off it flies with injured wings, huffing as it slides away, to find a sweater, hiding place. By accident, I burned our bread. I could not bend to lift it from the oven's heat. Apologies will not appease our hunger pangs. There is no broom that tends to wailing shadows left.

poetryrepairs #220 16.01:003

Walk Free * end modern slavery

Njeri* can recall the moment she knew she was finally free - it was when strangers rushed to
her aid as she lay crumpled on the pavement after falling from a third floor window.

But Njeri was not pushed, nor did she stumble. She had become so desperate to escape her abusive
employers and a life trapped in domestic slavery that she risked her life and jumped.

Today, Njeri is back home in Kenya. As she lies in her hospital bed she is comforted by women
who have fled similar situations of trafficking and returned safely to Kenya - all thanks to
our partner HAART Kenya. As the support group sits and chats it’s clear to see that they are
rebuilding their lives and refusing to let their experiences of slavery define them.

Will you give to HAART to help more survivors like Njeri rebuild their lives?

Not all survivors receive the care and support that Njeri and her friends have. Shockingly,
many victims of modern slavery in Kenya are at risk of being re-trafficked,1 while others are
rejected by their community when they return home with no money. Some even commit suicide to
escape the mental scars that continue to haunt them from their time in domestic slavery.

HAART Kenya is a key organisation working exclusively to rescue and rehabilitate victims of
trafficking in Kenya.

HAART Kenya assesses each survivor according to their individual needs, providing a tailored
programme for recovery of psychological and medical support, as well as courses to equip survivors
with the skills that can reduce their vulnerability to being re-trafficked.

Our partner is supporting more and more victims of trafficking every day.2 Your donation will
help survivors like Njeri to get back on their feet.

In solidarity,

the Walk Free and HAART Kenya teams

P.S. Every donation helps build a brighter future for survivors of slavery in Kenya. Please
consider making a donation today.

*Name has been changed to protect identity

1 https://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/kenyahumantraffickingbaselineassessment.pdf
2 The 2014 IIbrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) noted an increase of human trafficking in
Kenya from 2011 onwards. http://static.moibrahimfoundation.org/downloads/publications/2014/2014-iiag-summary-report.pdf


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JANET I. BUCK is a seven-time Pushcart Nominee. Her poetry has appeared in 2River View, Offcourse, The Pedestal Magazine, and hundreds of journals worldwide. Janet's second print collection of poetry, Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry Award and her third collection, Beckoned By The Reckoning, was released by PoetWorks Press in the spring of 2004. She has been a regular contributor to poetryrepairs and its first guest editor.

I am delighted to announce the release of my full-length print collection of poetry entitled Dirty Laundry, which is now available by direct order from Vine Leaves Press at the following link: http://www.vineleavespress.com/dirty-laundry-by-janet-buck.html using PayPal or a credit card from a number of publishing outlets. Also click on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. to order. Free shipping is available to those ordering multiple copies, if they are purchased directly from Vine Leaves Press. More information is available on my new web page: http://www.janetibuck.com I hope you’ll consider purchasing copies of Dirty Laundry as holiday gift or for yourself. It’s a busy time of year.

Anyone who cares to review or comment on my new book, write what you feel, and I will promptly post it on my web page. Some pre-reviews are currently available at http://www.janetibuck.com.