Burn iris embers
Black smoke breathing musician
Make her sing a song

Audience awaits
Time to play, she knows

Beaten drum woman
Struck drum woman, wails a song;
Her soul escaping

Drum Beaten woman
The screaming struck instrument
She’s no legs to flee

Eager, naive skin
Dreamt warm, a snared promise-
All sweet, honeyed lies

Soon gentle hands-Snap
(Unprotected, unprepared)
Dealt a striking blow

He’s tuning her head-
Twisting her rods, drawing sound
Dampening her spirit

Check, attack, backbeat
Balanced empty resonance
Lonely, hollowed thing



Stephanie Deal grew up in Los Angeles during the 1980s. "My father was full blooded Native-American: Tohono O'odham, and I have never laid eyes upon him. My mother is a gentle woman who never deserved to be treated as the world saw fit. I learned to read for the first time when I was ten years old; I took to it like a fish to water. Books are one of my greatest joys, followed only by my husband and my children. I have made many mistakes in my life, and for it I have suffered. But I have survived and persevered, and am better for that suffering. I write about a number of topics, but closest to my heart is the topic of surviving domestic violence." Stephanie is currently attending college to become a teacher. This is her first publication.