Diving into the Ruins – A Poem by Mark Tulin

The Thankful Poor – Henry Ossawa Tanner

Poetry by Mark Tulin

In the dusty caverns of her brittle bottles,
she conjures up enough energy to carry on.

Her voice sounds young. Her awareness is keen.
She swoops down into the great trash heap.

Her beautiful soul still shines through
despite her dirty face and ragged clothes.

Diving into the ruins of the light of day,
her weary body rises from the ashes to the setting sun

rolling onto the grass of the courthouse lawn.
Her shoulder aches. The shame of her life never goes away.

Some nights she’s restless and doesn’t sleep well,
barking dogs and voices haunt her from the past.

Other nights the mistakes keep adding up.
A young girl with her bags packed, leaving home.

At sunrise, however, she starts the morning with a clean slate,
redeeming brittle bottles, like painful memories, for something to eat.

About the Poet

Mark Tulin is a former family therapist who lives in Santa Barbara, California.  His poetry often finds beauty in the lives of the neglected and disenfranchised. He has a poetry chapbook, Magical Yogis, published by Prolific Press (2017).  His work appears in Page and Spine, Fiction on the Web, Amethyst Review, Friday Flash Fiction, The Drabble, smokebox, and others. His website is Crow On The Wire.

7 thoughts

  1. Mark, I find your poem so beautiful and sensitive. Your words paint the life of a woman in
    extreme poverty and renders her beautiful. I like your image very much too.


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