Orphan
by Joan Stuart Ross


Brea water.
Live in pueblo
town of pots.
Every day
climb ladder
to the top.
Mama snakes coils,
Grandma smoothes sides,
Uncle strokes fire
in the read soil.
Sangre Christos storm
blows over our land.
Lightening cracks
strikes zigzag blows,
sweeps away town’s walls,
snatches Mama’s shawl,
hooks grandma’s hair,
knocks Uncle down,
entwines them all.
Lifts them off the wheel.
To the next world
they fly.



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Joan Stuart Ross was educated at Boston Latin School, Connecticut College, Yale, and the Universities of Iowa and WA. She received the Betty Bowen Award from the Seattle Art Museum and a Rome Fellowship from the Northwest Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies. Joan exhibited “Texts & Messages,” a show of her recent paintings, at Edmonds Community College and she presently has artwork on view in "Mark My Word," at the Museum of Northwest Art. Joan teaches printmaking, drawing, watercolor, and ancient art history at North.