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About this Poem 

“This poem was inspired by a photograph I came across of all the pink crosses in Ciudad Juárez that serve as memorials to the hundreds of women and young girls who have been murdered over the past few decades, many of whom have never been found. Stylistically, I wanted to experiment with form in this poem in order to capture both the horrifying emotions that fueled these murders and the emotions of the people who have lost their daughters, wives, and sisters.”

—Amanda Auchter

The Pink Crosses

Amanda Auchter

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

In this wild city, we are bones
scattered in the valley’s grave. An apron,
a white tennis shoe, a face gone
missing. A mother leans over the dust

scattered in the valley’s grave. An apron
around her waist, on her way to work. The
missing. A mother leans over the dust
and carves her daughter’s initials. Her name

around her waist, on her way to work. The
bones wait to be found; there are always bones. She prays
and carves her daughter’s initials. Her name,
Veronica, and the others, Esmerelda, Barbara, Brenda; our

bones wait to be found; there are always bones. She prays
to the gardens tethered to the field of pink crosses:
Veronica, and the others, Esmerelda, Barbara, Brenda, our
roses, wild poppies, fragile blooms of morning glories,

to the gardens tethered to the field of pink crosses:
the wooden fence marked ¡Justicia!, the desert empty of
roses, wild poppies, fragile blooms of morning glories,
for the women who walk home each night. The unfinished earth.

Copyright @ 2014 by Amanda Auchter. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on June 3, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Amanda Auchter. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on June 3, 2014.

Amanda Auchter

Amanda Auchter is the author of two books of poems, the most recent of which is The Wishing Tomb (Perugia Press, 2012). She teaches at Lone Star College and lives in Houston, Texas.