Poem by Shan Overton
for Agnes Denes
While developers mapped lower Manhattan tracts
She planted a summer wheatfield amidst rubble.
While accountants and bankers sharpened their pencils
She planted a mountain with thousands of fir trees.
While the West burns, the South floods, and the North ice melts
I water a small backyard container garden.
This wheat, the trees, the heirloom tomatoes, the beans --
our air, our food, our beauty, our future, our hope.
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Shan Overton’s poems have been published in anthologies, including Virginia Overton: Deluxe and Voices from the Attic, Volumes XXV and XXVI, and her creative nonfiction has been published in The Porch Magazine and elsewhere. She studies creative writing with Madwomen in the Attic and has taken classes with Diane Glancy, Jan Beatty, and Lori Jakiela. In 2017, Overton won the Nashville Reads Writing Contest with an essay subsequently translated for publication in Spain. She is the Director of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s Center for Writing and Learning Support and the Faculty Mentor for the Doctor of Ministry program in Creative Writing and Public Theology.
The poems that follow are powerful evidence that Poetry Speaks Back to Hunger!