"Justicia" by Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver grew up in rural Kentucky and studied biology at DePauw University in Indiana. At age 23 she moved to southern Arizona and spent most of the next two decades writing from the cultural and political territory of the U.S-Mexican border. She has also lived in Europe and Africa and followed writing assignments across five continents. With her husband Steven Hopp, a professor of environmental studies, she has raised two adventurous daughters and now resides on a farm in southern Appalachia. She is the author of seven works of fiction, including the novels The Lacuna, The Poisonwood Bible, Animal Dreams, and The Bean Trees, as well as books of poetry, essays, and creative nonfiction. Her most recent work of nonfiction is the enormously influential bestseller Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.


The feral incantations of our dreams
bring the wolf
through the door.
The southern sun is flint

on his charcoal eye.
The image of a person, tiny and perfect, shines
in the mirror of his cornea.
His orange pain becomes a desert sunset.
His hunger perceives the scent of blood
on the wind,

the sleep of sheltered animals,
but borders.
The television says McAllen, Texas,
is closer to Managua than to Washington, D.C.,
and housewives in McAllen

check their own
possibly Bolshevik eyes in the mirror
and lock the windows.
Their peaceful constitution sings of liberty
and justice
and their outlaw dreams

say the wolf deserves a meal.


Copyright@ 1992 Barbara Kingsolver from ANOTHER AMERICA, reprinted by permission of The Frances Goldin Literary Agency.