Bulmer brings profound new meaning to our inner struggles and brings to light the uncertainty that the only reward we receive in this life is the confirmation that if we are good enough, we will enter the kingdom of God after death. Sometimes reaching for the light at the end of the tunnel seems useless when suffering and loss are all we know. Here may be the point. All of Bulmer’s works dance with the desire for the universal search for truth and righteousness while trying to survive the day in a human body with desires and needs. It gives the word guilt more power.
"I thought God so loved the Virgin, he himself stepped out of his workpants, hung his belt on a nail. I wedded him in a bridal gown…
But God so loved me he sent Diamond. …
I trip on my way to chapel…The thorns break my skin, my ankles and calves bleed. Diamond takes me to his shed where he stores his tools and bags of loam, lays me down on a burlap sack: a leak in the roof, a hymn gentle from the chapel…. A hot drink, eggs scrambled over fire, crusty bread Diamond hacks from a loaf. When the cinders die,shadows sweep the ashes."
When I got to “Annie,” I wondered if I was misunderstanding. I worried so that I finally wrote Bulmer and asked her if I was on point, raising several issues.
"My new dog liked the smell of my yellow soap, thanked me with kisses to the elbow, wrist and knee. He growled a little when I clipped his nails and when I snipped at his dewclaw he broke the skin on my left thigh. I bled.
"He didn’t like it among the brooms and buckets, whined for hours.He was asleep on the rag bag when I opened the door. I carried him to the bedroom, his body warm against the sleeves of my cotton night dress. We slept cheek by jowl.
At noon he stood at the window like a little man, wiped the dew from the window pane and cried. It was the sheriff and a vigil of town folk at the front door. They kicked at me with their hob-nailed boots, struck me with shovels and frying pans. The sheriff shot my dog — a weight he slung into a burlap bag and carried to the river.