Silent, a few yards apart, we picked blackberries
in the wild place Dad didn’t know about.
He knew this much: Men could do us harm.
Some pervert might follow our broken twigs

to wild places we shouldn’t know about.
If Dad found out, icebox silence for a week.
Some pervert could have followed broken twigs
to our bare shoulders and sun-warmed berries.

We found out about ice-cold glares and silence
if we cut through the woods on the way home from school,
bared our shoulders, stained our lips with berries.
We were told bedroom doors can be removed,

that police found a schoolgirl cut up in the woods.
Frontal lobotomy, clitoridectomy–
how the wild parts of girls can be removed.
We read the news over muesli and coffee.

Frontal lobotomy, clitoridectomy–
men can do harm, kill their daughters for honor.
We read the news over muesli and coffee,
in silence. Worlds apart, girls picking blackberries.

Photo by photonographizer

L.A. Weeks

L.A. WEEKS grew up on Virginia’s coastal plain, and spent twelve years on the lower Mississippi, where she owned and operated a bookstore.She now lives near the mouth of the Cape Fear River.Her work can be found in Alabama Literary Review, The Raintown Review, The Journal of Wild Culture, and elsewhere.

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