Three Poems by Abigail Carl-Klassen

Common Knowledge
Abigail Carl-Klassen

I didn’t know clocks made sounds
until the first time I was home 

alone. No kids to babysit. Mom
was at work and I was ditching  

seventh grade—pretending I was
sick when I heard it. Tick. Tick. Tick.


Abigail Carl-Klassen

What’s your deal,
Missy? Your twang don’t fit 

your teeth. Too pretty to be
talkin’ like that. You sure, 

you a’int shittin’ me?
Well, maybe you was 

from these parts for a time,
but you sure as hell 

don’t live here now
and that’s all that counts.


Thoughts on the Neighbors
Abigail Carl-Klassen

They are good
people even though
they’re tweakers.


Author’s Commentary: These poems are inspired by the community where I grew up in rural West Texas and the struggles experienced every day by the people who live there. In these poems I wanted to center their experiences and voices and "tell it like they tell it." These poems also reflect the disorientation that I experienced and the struggle for identity that resulted from returning to my community after leaving for many years.

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Abigail Carl-Klassen is a poet, writer, educator, translator and activist. She grew up in rural West Texas and worked for many years in public education and community development on the U.S.-Mexico border. She is a staff writer at Poets Reading the News and her chapbook Shelter Management is available from Dancing Girl Press