Author: Ellen Jane Powers
Ellen Jane Powers' work has recently appeared in The Comstock Review, the Aurorean,
. Her full-length manuscript, Toward the Beloved
, was a semi-finalist in a recent Perugia Press contest.
You were always playing the mother,
ordering me to fetch water, to tear rags
for the wounds our dolls pretended to have.
I saw the shells explode in our village,
the blood, splotched and speckled across the road,
the doorway where we play dolls, stained red.
Your doll shouts, Flee! They pack their belongings,
move out onto the street, which way do we go?
Away! Away from the noise is our answer.
It's quiet. I hear you breathing next to me.
I curl into your back, whispering,
Do you know all girls have the same mother?
You must have heard me, your breath stopped abruptly,
gurgling, you said my name. It must be true.
After they took you to hospital, mother died.
Aunt tells me you're in America,
in a place that will give you new legs.
I am waiting for you in the doorway of our house.
I took the legs off your doll, wrapped her with rags,
told her she's not allowed to play outside anymore.