The men are beautiful,
mute and efficient in white
sleeveless T's, biceps bulging
like the slick soybeans
my daughter loves
to pop from the pod and eat.
Mama, do I look sexy?
she wonders at four
then wants to make herself bleed
to prepare for the pain of giving
birth. What should I say?
Dear girl, don't fear the hurt
as we watch from her bedroom
window, one thriving limb at a time
cut whole from the wide sturdy crotch.
Instead, she turns to me.
The chipper whines
and sucks, too insatiable to feed.
Kirstin Hotelling Zona‘s poems have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, such as the Southwest Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Poet Lore,The Spoon River Poetry Review, and The Mom Egg. “Riptide, ” the title poem of her full-length manuscript, received the Elizabeth Matchett Stover Prize. She is also the author of numerous essays on modern poetry; a book of criticism, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and May Swenson: The Feminist Poetics of Self-Restraint (Michigan UP); and editor of Dear Elizabeth (Utah State UP). Kirstin lives with her husband and two young children in Maine and in Illinois, where she is an associate professor at Illinois State University, co-host of Poetry Radio on WGLT, and the new editor of The Spoon River Poetry Review.
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