News Poetry: Small Town

They moved in
far to the edge of things
Kept to themselves

Nobody heard the screams
The scratchings
on the safety glass

A neighbor saw the two girls once
Their shyness like a veil
A hijab of family secrets

Found dead in a Toyota sedan
Starved. Dehydrated
An apocalyptic vision gone awry

This small tragedy
unlike Fox News’ bitcoin
of new & distant fears

Unlike the CNN’s daily
pounding of duplicity
terror & crimes

There’s no switching
channels under Norwood’s
dark sky, even here

deep in the privilege
of small town Colorado
Only the silence of their cries


Editor’s Note: A woman acting as a “spiritual leader” to a small group of people living on a rural property outside Norwood, Colorado, ordered two girls kept in a car without food or water weeks before their bodies were found last fall. Madani Ceus faces murder charges in San Miguel County along with Nashika Bramble, the girls’ mother, for the death of 10-year-old Makayla Roberts and 8-year-old Hannah Marshall. Three other adults also face charges of fatal child abuse.

Photo credit: Kit Hedman. Kit began as a photographer in US Army. His photographs have appeared in Rolling Stone, Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, Smithsonian and various other publications. 
Art Goodtimes is an American poet, farmer and politician in Colorado. Goodtimes was first elected to the San Miguel County Board of Commissioners in 1996 as a Democrat. He switched to the Green Party of Colorado in 1998 and was re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. He is a noted poet and writer of several books and the poet laureate of the Telluride Mushroom Festival. He grew up in California and graduated from San Francisco State Universityin 1970. He has also served as co-chair of the Green Party of Colorado.