9/23/19 Sandra Anfang hosted by Gary
Sandra Anfang is a poet, teacher, and visual artist. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including San Francisco Peace and Hope, Unbroken Literary Journal, Rattle, and Spillway. Her chapbook, Looking Glass Heart, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Road Worrier: Poems of the Inner and Outer Landscape (Finishing Line Press, 2018) followed. A full-length collection, Xylem Highway, was released in March, 2019 from Main Street Rag. Sandra was nominated for a Best Short Fictions award and a Pushcart Prize. She is founder of the monthly series, Rivertown Poets, in Petaluma, California, and a California Poet/Teacher in the Schools.
At the Nevada mining museum
our seven-year old has a chokehold on my arm
timid at first, his tentative eyes—
as if searching for rattlers—
sweep the iron-incensed bunker
before they lock on the rows of core samples.
He pronounces the name
which doesn’t quite fit in his mouth
carves new grooves on his tongue.
The desiccated docent
voice bald as his quarry explains
how cylindrical drills drone deep into stone
probe Earth's mantle
yielding smooth columns, pygmy pillars
relics of a place where dinosaurs
once cut their terrible teeth.
Drawn in, my child dons a scholar’s mask.
This is proof of something real
a piece of the fossil record
truer than anything I can give him
a staff to wrap his brain’s heart around
a bed of rock his feet can trust
no ephemera in this metamorphic floor.
I flash on the day I could finally read most anything
the skeleton key of my brain cracking the code
translating the thatch of storefront signs
the irony of the missing “i” in “realty”
my hopeful eyes pleading with my mother:
can we bring some home?
At five I knew we were already fresh out.