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poetry Evelyn Hutchins

Saturday May 4 the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) honors the memory of the US volunteers of the Spanish Civil War by awarding the ALBA-Puffin Human Rights Award to “18by Vote.”

Evelyn Hutchins



It was her idea. Her husband rushed

to Spain. Her brother had joined him.

She wanted to go, too. Men held her back.

Some thought a woman at war was funny.

I was a girl, I was small, didn’t weigh

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much. They were satisfied I could handle

the cars. I wanted to be there, close as I

could to the fighting. I went there to drive.

She had a tough job double-clutching 

trucks, scary, under attack night and day,

many narrow escapes—bombs, artillery,

bad drivers, pot holes, ditches.

She had nightmares—driving downhill,

brakes failing, crashes, fire, explosions.

Then I’d wake up in a cold sweat—but

lots of things are worse than dreams.

She clung to one immodest confession:

I have never lost my nerves, yet….

She also had one request for a reporter—

Don’t laugh, even if it does sound cuckoo.

Some night, go down to Chinatown, down

to one of those really good Chinese restaurants,

order a big bowl of Chinese soup. And when

you eat, think of me for just a minute.

Peter Neil Carroll’s new collection is Sketches From Spain: Homage to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (Main Street Rag Publications, 2024). Evelyn Hutchins drove trucks and ambulances during the Spanish Civil War.