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

Daughter I

          Nepal Paper, Methyl Cellulose, Hair, Fabric, Glass. Kiki Smith, 1999

 

 

As usual, I have lost you. You’ve left me 

walking a crooked mile. If I stand

this morning, I’ll spill to the floor. 

 

Who else looks at you?  Who combs your snarls

and dodges your teeth? Who listens to your pleas

for milky affection? Who strokes 

your brown and leathered head?

 

You have my eyes, that daunted look. 

The red-membrane cape wasn’t meant for this. 

I stitched it for the yard, to stitch you 

to the yard and lullabies and felted goodnight stories. 

O little wolf, did you 

 

have to follow the moon

like a ball bouncing out the door? 

Wasn’t our house, choked with ivy 

and old time, enough for you? 

 

When I lie on my back at night, 

my back is your bare foot,

thick-pricked with thorns. I can’t sleep under your bloody coat,

the red, red loss of you.

 

How long before you stop unspooling

between tree trunks and make a home with me? 

How long before you lacquer me in happiness,

a film of laughter thin on the hardwood?

 

Come home. I long 

to smooth your bent dress.

Isn’t my wanting reason enough?

I have enough of me. You

are the thing worth having, worth

all the bite marks, the unknowable cost. 

I’ve left you a brick of chocolate 

by the door. Come kiss me goodnight

with that mess on your face.


Meg Reynolds is a poet, artist, and teacher living in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared in The Missing Slate, Mid-American Review, Fugue, and the anthology Monster Verse: Poems Human and Inhuman as well as The Book of Donuts. She is the co-director of writinginsideVT, a program offers that writing instruction at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.

 

Her Spring Day Poetry Reading

Best of the Net Nominations 2018