Three Poems by Judy Shepps Battle

Almost Abandoned At Six Years Old

Orange tiger lily grows tall in
cut-down milk container
black soil smells sweet

I planted it
I water it
I love it

but Mom left it
somewhere in Mount Vernon
when we moved to Brooklyn

She also left Noisy
my floppy-eared
cocker spaniel who

loves Kennel Ration
and long walks on
sidewalk grass

She would have left me
but I made sure to
hold her hand.


Previously published in The Tishman Review.


Not Guilty

Marilyn O and her Catholic
friends chase me home

yell Dirty Jew!
throw rocks

taught by moms + dads
priests + nuns that

I killed Christ

that four-year-old me
murdered their God

How likely is that?


Previously published in Anti-Heroin Chic.


for Joan

she hovers in the nether space
somewhere between life and death
undecided whether to yield or fight

she hovers oblivious to North Star
her only two lovers gone
one to God, the other to New Jersey

she can’t leave
she can’t stay
her body still functions with ventilator

DNR* instruction rescinded when
death came close and breathed icicles
and she remembered how much

she hates the cold
and why she chose Florida sunshine
and weekly visits with the manatees

capturing Kodak moments as they
body surf, barrel roll, and
eat freshwater vegetation.

I too hover in the nether space
waiting for a phone call
from her or about her.


Previously published in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine.



Judy Shepps Battle has been writing essays and poems long before retiring from being psychotherapist and sociology professor. She is a New Jersey resident, addictions specialist, consultant and freelance writer.

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