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San Francisco: Castro Street Near Market – a Poem by Nora Hutton Shepard

by | Apr 25, 2023

On our way to the hospital one morning
we saw a woman slumped
on boarding house steps, head bowed
over her knees, a fall of yellow hair.
I touched her;

she did not look up, but her hand jutted
from the step
gripping a wine bottle, half full,
neck shattered,
sharp as a fistful of knives. She then
lifted her face, a mask of bleeding cuts
mapped by the bottle’s jagged shards.
I reached

for it and she clutched it closer, swung
at me. She lifted the slivered edges to
her face to drink and I

She wouldn’t let me
near her, but staggered,
staggered like a broken bird
up the sidewalk. Crumpled.
At the stop sign.

Nora Hutton Shepard

Nora Hutton Shepard is a poet and alumna of N.C. State’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing program, as well a graduate of the MFA Writer’s Program at Warren Wilson College. She taught poetry courses at N.C. State before relocating to Davidson in 2019 to be closer to her daughter’s family. Nora has quickly acclimated to life in Davidson and is a wonderful addition to our Community.

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