Mary Anna Dunn


In the never only of the once more night,
though South Sudan is new
Syria’s not old. In the

elsewhere of the other only, those
explosions could be women. In the never
ever province fast dashed lines from machinegun tracers

write across the starry sky. In the other elsewhere
somewhere, dripping children pass in carts. Where
the only’s never willing and the willing

always wait, no one dares
retrieve their parents
from the ever ever night.

Here in our now own only never,
ever’s scrawled on schoolyard walls.



Mary Anna Dunn is the author of a chapbook, Letters to Littles’ Mills (Finishing Line Press,2018), a series of poems that face up to her family’s and the nation’s dark history by threading her own original writing with letters written to her ancestors and spirituals collected during the era of slavery. Dunn's poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, Portside, and New Millennium Writings. She is the director of The Enrichment Alliance of Virginia, an educational non-profit in Charlottesville.