Along with the two writing classes I teach, for the past two summers I have led a four-day writers workshop at Twin Farms in Wakefield, NH. I have never had a poet in any of my classes, but two poets have attended Twin Farms both of these past two years. One of those poets, Anne, gave me permission to publish one of her poems. By unanimous agreement, this was the poem we all liked best.

Digging for the Devil

A girl once,
I dug
with a kitchen spoon
for the devil
in the backyard
on Atlantic Street.

Very sure of him.

Very sure of the fire down there.

Very sure fear
made perfect sense.

Thought I saw his eyes once, so I filled up the hole again,
fast and furious;

Ran inside the house,
splashing holy water all over my face from the cup that hung near the door.

Here I am:
decades of anxiety later;

No Holy Water in this house;
No holes in this backyard,

Somehow I think the devil got out anyway.

Sure is raising hell up here.

Hope it wasn’t from all my digging.

Anne E. Cassidy

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In which I blog about the days I write and the days I don’t write; about teaching about writing; about reading (which is never enough); and occasionally about music, because sometimes a three-minute song can tell as good a story as a novel.

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