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I come from a womb that came from a womb
where one child thrived and one child failed.
Some days I am nothing but bluster. Bluster, and this
small dance I let my hips lean into before they snap back.
When I was eight I starved my pet rabbits,
I slapped my sisters and mastered the art of the pout.
I spent junior high in the fiction section
and cautiously befriended the halt and the lame.
Now the worm is my mentor, blind and persistent.
The wind is my friend and the dog who does not speak.
I worship the ball bearing,
singing, spinning and hidden as it works.
My hands reach from side to side, my breadth,
my height, no adequate measure or reach.
Still, the harmed boy turns out his sadness in the paddock of my arms
then runs and somersaults across the spindly stream.
The brainy girl child with thorny braces grazes in the tiny pasture
of my attention. She tastes the young grass, breathes in its scent.
My man calls me beautiful, though he knows
how it feels to be wounded by words.
Sometimes I pray to the god I scarcely believe in.
Let me be still. Let me be mute and burnished.
Copyright 2019 Luray Gross. From Lift published by Ragged Sky Press.