Paintings by Pablo Picasso (Collected from Internet)


She sings outside his window

the sweetness of spring

new life, new home


he watched for days

as she laid every twig with care

stealing hair from the dog

cotton from the old deck chair

building her nest

then laying her eggs


he saw them hatch

tiny little beaks


waiting within that nest

for food

for Mom to return


he waited and saw them

take flight

tiny wings outstretched

and then gone

too soon


he witnessed the summer storms

huff and puff

and destroy the tiny house of twigs

so meticulously created

a temporary home, shelter

a reminder

that in the end

we are all subject to the elements




I cannot yield

This moment in time is too much of a slippery slope

digging in my heels

applying the breaks

into the soft wet earth

only creates more mud.


I have no roots

Neither concrete nor wooden walls above my head

the stars are my nightlights

the moon is my clock

the earth is my bed

the city hundreds of miles away.


I am a stranger in this land

Displaced from my home, I cannot yield

exhausted – and yet I cannot sleep

hungry – and yet I cannot stop to eat

weary – and yet I cannot rest

my god, have you forsaken me?


Another diaspora

A different day, a different age and yet

the displacement is all the same

one family, one race, one people

desperate for freedom, for a chance at life

they cannot yield to those who oppress

and so they march on.


About the Poet

Kusterbeck-photoLori Ann Kusterbeck’s first poem was published at age 12. As a teen, she had over a dozen poems featured in Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer newspaper. Her first chapbook Back\words & For/words was published by the Poet’s Haven Press in 2013. Most recently, she took home second place in the 2015 Hessler Street Fair poetry contest. Residing in Cleveland, she holds an MA in Philosophy and teaches college classes in philosophy and humanities. To read more of her work and to view her catalog of published pieces, visit her website at