Anna Evans


A pear mottles in a bowl; fruit
flies speckle the kitchen air.
They fogged the tank
in our old Science classroom
as we transcribed their genus - Drosophila.

We knocked the insects out
in fume-stoppered vials,
sexed them to breed in lidded jars;
two weeks later we tweezed
a generation, counted
the pale-eyed males,
and re-opened the text at Hemophilia.

This page we knew: our classmate
Mike and his garrisoned veins,
the hospital stripes we envied
until he missed the yearbook -
his routine treatment a gamble
lost to a bag of dirty blood.

I tumble the pear into the trash.
Thirty years and several livers on,
Mike measures out life on a drip. His red
headed daughters share the visitor's chair.
Above their pale brows swarm
probabilities - a cloud of fruit flies
too small to swat.

Anna Evans is a British citizen but permanent resident of NJ, where she is raising two daughters. She has had over 100 poems published in journals including The Formalist, The Evansville Review, Measure, and e-zines such as Verse Libre Quarterly. She has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist in the Howard Nemerov sonnet award. She is editor of The Barefoot Muse and is currently enrolled in Bennington College MFA Program. Her first chapbook Swimming was published in March 2006 by Maverick Duck Press.