SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

All the ones I do not see by Tina Parker

I saw a mother open her mouth and eat

The doll whole

            That woman was not   (me)

And I saw the man who was her father

He put the baby in her but he was not          (me)


                                    All the ones I do not see


I saw someone’s daughter claw the leeches from her vagina

That girl was not                                                                       (me)

And I was not the doctor who opened her

Swam those fuckers in and then went

To supper


                                    All the ones I do not see


I saw the widow who sat before the mirror               

But that woman was not                                                                                (me)

I saw the son who admitted her and heard him plea

She does nothing but primp and deplore her condition

But he was not me




                                    All the ones I do not see

                                    In asylum

                                    They call to me


Tina Parker is the author of the full-length poetry collection Mother May I and the poetry chapbook Another Offering. Her work has received support from the Kentucky Foundation for Women; individual poems have appeared in such journals as Rattle, PMS: poemmemoirstory, and Still: The Journal. For more about her work, visit www.tina-parker.org.

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