Dear Judith Wright

My daughter had that nightmare again
(this is five nights in a row now),
and when I ask her what it was about,
she lacks the words to tell me
or maybe she remembers only the fear
and the waking and her all alone.
I tell her it is only our past and future
troubling your sleep
, then she nods
and I wipe away her tears because
that is all we can do in this moment.

* Judith Wright (1915-2000): Aboriginal land rights; author of A Human Pattern: Selected Poems, selected by Judith Wright (Fyfield Books, 2011); italicized words taken and altered from “The Trains”

Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse who received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of a poetry collection, Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016). You can find out more about her and her publications at and Stice writes, “For several months, I read collections by poets who write/wrote in times of conflict, and Judith Wright's A Human Pattern was among them. Wright wrote in support of the people with the least amount of power: indigenous tribes, women, and children. I wrote "Dear Judith Wright" to the spirit of Wright, knowing she would empathize with the military children who are too young to really understand or express their feelings.”

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