Cambodian Jungle Woman Found

brought back, given a hero's return, until without the words to tell why, she fled, hid to monkey-cry in
an outdoor toilet. Lost as a child, out herding buffalo, then gone, disappeared into the shade of the
Kapok and Durian trees, eighteen years ago, from girl to woman, eating the sweet pink swirl of jambu
fruit snatched from leather leaves, strangler figs shared with the gibbons and bats; sleeping curled like a
cat beneath a mangrove moon. Now, that civilized nonsense of clothes, and soup bowls and spoons, and
combing her hair, was simply more than she could bear. So she starved, crawled rather than walked,
ripped out the IV needles they carved into her thin arms, these people with their talk, all that noise like
tin rattling, like traffic, like the havoc of the village they'd brought her to, all bleat and bellow from
their mouths and hard shoes on wood floors, yelling at each other, this woman who kept saying moth-er
over and over, this man who held her arm so tight, the children gaping from the door, their teeth so
white and sharp, she felt bite into bone, even from across the room, even as she cried, even as they sang
together those hairless children, some sound again and again—welcomehomewelcomehome

About the Author: Mary Carroll-Hackett earned the MFA in Literature and Writing from Bennington College in June 2003. Her work has appeared in more than a hundred journals including Carolina Quarterly, Clackamas Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, The Potomac, Superstition Review, Drunken Boat, Doorknobs & Bodypaint and The Prose-Poem Project, Her first chapbook, The Real Politics of Lipstick, was recently named winner of the 2010 annual poetry competition by Slipstream Press and her chapbook Animal Soul is forthcoming from Kattywompus Press this year. Braeden Ayres, a Texas classical composer, is currently at work creating an operatic sound cycle from seven of her prose poems. She teaches Creative Writing at Longwood University in Farmville, VA where she founded and edits The Dos Passos Review, Briery Creek Press, and The Liam Rector First Book Prize for Poetry.