Desperate Choices By Shawn Aveningo Sanders

Desperate Choices

Somewhere there’s a woman – battered,
bruised and pregnant.

Somewhere there’s a daughter – teeming
with dreams, until the line turned blue.

Somewhere there’s a mother – obedient
to the cross, yet can’t afford another mouth.

Somewhere there’s a man – choosing
between his wife’s life and their unborn child.

Somewhere there’s a young boy – beat down,
his freckles a reminder of his wife’s attacker.

Somewhere there’s an infant – tossed
in a dumpster. Crying. Dying. Alone.

Somewhere there’s a woman – shivering,
blood pooling on ceramic tile,

coat hanger slipping from her palm
in desperation.

By Shawn Aveningo Sanders


Shawn Aveningo Sanders started out as show-me girl from Missouri and after a bit of globetrotting finally landed in Portland, Oregon. She is a widely published poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes—especially red ones! ( Shawn’s work has appeared in over 130 literary journals and anthologies. She’s a Pushcart nominee (2015), Best of the Net nominee (2017), co-founder of The Poetry Box, managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon. She also served as journal designer for VoiceCatcher (2015-16) and was winner of the first poetry slam in Placerville, California (2012). Shawn is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.