Karen Olshanky

Child of the Desert

He crosses the sandy expanse so they can
regain what was lost. There is much hope.

Hand weaved with the one he depends
upon to guide him away from the horror

that has diminished his life, toward a vision
of promise. Trekking under sky turned red,

possessions tied around his waist like a wheel, grit
and brush crush underfoot as he pushes his barrow.

After chilling nights, they arrive at a gate glazed with
spikes, an unwelcome greeting from a place of hope

turned hopeless. His grip ripped from his
father as rain seeps from his eyes. They offer

food and water but not the comfort of sleeping
alongside his padre. The days are endless without

the reassurance of hugs. Dreams lost in the white
desert, arid and barren, not fit for man nor beast.


Karen Olshansky is a retired psychotherapist who is thrilled to be writing poetry. Her poems have been published in Tuck magazine, in the anthology Unsealing Our Secrets, and in the upcoming anthology Lingering in the Margins. Karen lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband. She frequently visits San Francisco to bask in the energy and light of her grandchildren.

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