la peur -------------------------------------------
behind my car
alongside the blooded banks
dark hair flying back at ends
her grimace framed
her outstretched arms
thin and brown as the reeds
I see in the next
The thing with poetry is it's often that you don't have to tell a complete story in order to....
So what I think here is that the poem is like a sequence of stills (albeit in the dynamic) -framing the dynamic.
It's a great effect actually, it gives you the sense of something hurried (an anguish) and the real time slow motion effect of the/a looming train wreck.
If this was a picture I would hang it up on the wall and look at it and look at it. &- that is the point isn't it?
you want to create something that says something
[expresses what you need to say] and you want to create something that is interactive, by its existence it demands this interaction, and you need it to do so in spades.
I often think about emotion and that as writers we are like drug dealers, perhaps we are giving it in a different form, but if we are good drug dealers then through the writing and a person's involvement in what they are reading, then we are giving them the drug of their choice.
The person doesn't need to know why, they just have to say, 'you know what? you're right, i fucking love that.'
From that point of view I found this poem very successful, however I consider this comment a general sort of affirmation and will get back to you with specifics. I think you could shave this, I think you could change very little.
Based on the title and the reference to "parish" (which I suppose is comparable to a county in the northern United States), this seems to be set in some French speaking community, possibly in Louisiana. Regardless of the location, the 'desert' impresses me as desolation, and the 'banks' could be broken levees in a town that hasn't, and may never, fully recover(ed) from disaster. And the girl is a refugee looking for some scrap of kindness and a way out of town.
Or I could be totally wrong. In any case, this is a very sobering image.