Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Little Wolf #3   Sept 2017 

"The Things You Don't Know"
by Valerie A. Thomas

"The Hangman's Noose"
 by Mollie Singleterry

 You see that girl
You say her skirt is too tight
But what you can't see
Inside her soul doesn't fit right
She's been broken
Bruised where it can't show
And you'd judge her worth
By the things you don't know
 
You see that boy
You say he's a queer
But he's tattooed all over
With the tears you can't hear
He's been abandoned
He has nowhere to go
But you judge his worth
By the things you don't know
 
See with your ego
View with your pride
Judge with your prejudice
Ignore what's inside
You see a misfit
I see the pain
You think they're worthless
Well you must feel the same
Things aren't always
The way they appear
Look with your heart
Don't look with your fear

You see that black boy
But he's really a man
Cause since he was 10
He's worked as hard as he can
He doesn't make eye contact
He doesn't stay out late
Cause he's afraid to be a victim
Of someone else's hate
 
You see that Muslim girl
You don't like her veil
But in her world it's a symbol
That her worth's not for sale
And she's afraid to pray
Where anyone can see
In this land of freedom
Where only pale skin is free
 
Can you see with your mercy?
Can you view with your soul?
Can you judge with compassion?
Have a little self control?
Before we murder the innocent
Before we rig the game
Before we forget
That we're all just the same
You know things aren't always
The way they appear
Look with your heart
Don't look with your fear
   
It was no longer a goal or want, but
A desperation to save lives.
The hangman’s noose clenched his throat, and
My anger emerged stronger from my miserable heart.

Passion flooded my veins, and
I knew I could never be his guardian angel.
His life held up by a rope, while
Most days by a thin thread ready to break.
 
Medicine, appointments, pointless treatment, and
Lingering hoping to see improvement.
But I sat there doing nothing, unable
To do anything.

How weak am I?
Though I am healthy, guilt
Was the most terrible sickness I’d endured.
His mind at ease and mine with worry

God could release him,
God could cure him,
God could harbor his pure, innocent
Soul and set him free… but no

Suffering grew taller than the tallest tree
He felt the whip slash his back,
Penetrating his bones, his muscles, his heart
His soul.

Until the day comes the noose slowly contracts,
Leaving a permanent mark
Only to be seen by those who suffered by his side.
   

"Paradise" by Bear by Blood

Following the chances of peace in existence’s lights,
Carrying it along the profaned trails of blood upon mud,
Relentlessly bringing our meanings to our last nights,
And we’re calling it love, the bane, the strength, the peace, and the do good hero’s hood.
 
And should – The thieves, the villains, and the enemies alike;
The love of strength, the love of greed, the love of power,
The love of one’s own pride, oh and the spike,
That helped create the trails of blood;
 
(Of which we follow)
The trail that’s leading our hearts,
To many treacherous crossroads,
The trail on which we find the truest arts,
 
The arts of age-
Existence’s stage,
Set by ourselves
No one else…
   

“Conversations With Me" *
 by Jubilee Joy

Life threw another curve ball,
and I got another overstressed call.
           Everything will work out.
           You’ll see; don’t doubt.

But today just kicked me in the gut,
and I feel like my life is in a deep rut.
    
                             Breath.
        Cry.
                     Pray.
                                              Don’t die.


You’ll make it through this,
then you’ll swing and won’t miss.
        I can’t even find myself anymore.
        They’re all shut, every door.
Then you don’t need them
Just trust in Him.
        I feel like He doesn’t listen to me
        I feel locked out without a key.
Maybe He’s working on a surprise
and wants you to close your eyes…
                              Then how will I see what to do?
                              I feel like I’ve got strike number twenty-two.

Infinity times is the charm, don’t worry.
I know that right now, everything is blurry,
But it will all be okay.
He’s got a plan for your special day.
Soon you’ll reach the top,
And then I’m sure you’ll just pop,
Because everything will be amazing soon
And He will be singing your tune.

* the title was a request of the author’s.