Jennifer Steele



Cinnamon-skinned game
hide inside shells,
inside rock-coated backs
burned by fickle suns.

Nuclear rays discolor habitats,
poison holy lands
‘til pigment turns green.
They learn to
screen themselves
from hungry eyes,

retreat from paths
encircled by steel vultures.
They curl,
knowing chemical diseases exist
in tri-colored scavenger birds
who swoop,


and burn.



Jennifer Steele is a native of Middletown, Connecticut.  She has won various awards including the IMPAC Literary Award for Young Writers (2001, 2002) and the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Fresh Voice Award (2002).  Her work has been published in the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Fresh Voices, Away from the Field: Now and Then…A History Behind the History in the Treatment of Mental Health, Warpland Journal, and Caduceus.  She is currently a student at Howard University pursuing a B.M. in music business.


Published in Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2006.