anticlea [ante-clee-ah] n. queen of ithaca and mother to odysseus

i told him too much of anything is almost always a bad thing,
just because there are too many fish in the sea doesn't mean
you should catch one for every day of the week, except sunday,
because one day, six heads will scoop you up and eat you alive.

this is not the moment i have been waiting for - hades is a mother's
hospital waiting room, a dreadful place where restless soles pace,
where twenty minutes feels like twenty years waiting for my son’s
return from bird watching, jogging, wandering, while i sit waiting.

why don't you pick on someone your own size, i moaned, trapped
inside one cave's soundproof walls. bet this lawless monster swears
nobody did this. contradicting eye phone witness and millions
who heard my baby boy cry, choking out, "mama, i can't breathe."

Michele Evans

Michele Evans, a fifth-generation Washingtonian (D.C.), is a writer, high school English teacher, and adviser for her school's literary magazine, Unbound. Despite always wearing the color black, she exhibits a certain fondness for blueberries, blue hydrangeas, blues musicians, and Blue Mountain coffee. Named a semifinalist for the 2023 Airlie Prize from Airlie Press, Michele has been published in Artemis Journal, Tangled Locks, The Write Launch, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry chapbook, purl, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in 2024. You can find her at or @awordsmithie on Instagram.

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