Selection from “(in the space where i was)”
(because the day you found me you tucked my hair behind my ears)
(and told me that was the way you liked it)
(and chanted your mother’s name as if it were holy)
(and drew a square for me to stand inside)
(and tied me up with corset binding)
(and told me this was to keep me safe)
(and every day you drew the square smaller using a stick of yellow chalk)
(and what you touched turned yellow)
(and yellow flowers bloomed then died)
(and I watched worms emerge in the rain only to lose track of their holes in the earth)
(and I can neither say earthworms feel joy nor can I saw they don’t)
(and sometimes I felt sick)
(and sometimes I wished for shoes)
(and I measured time by the length of my hair)
(and I kept it in braids)
(and tied it with blades of grass)
(and I could see the cattle guard)
(and I knew I could cross it)
(and took deep breaths)
(and watched the gravel road kick up dust)
This selection is from Dana Guthrie Martin’s chapbook In the Space Where I Was, available from Hyacinth Girl Press. Purchase your copy here!
Dana Guthrie Martin’s work has appeared in numerous journals, including Barrow Street, Boxcar Poetry Review, Failbetter, Fence, Knockout Literary Magazine, and Vinyl Poetry. Her chapbooks include In the Space Where I Was (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012), Toward What Is Awful (YesYes Books, 2012), and The Spare Room (Blood Pudding Press, 2009). Dana was recently diagnosed with primary immunodeficiency and thanks all blood and plasma donors for their life-saving donations to those in need.
Mary Stone Dockery is the author of One Last Cigarette, a poetry collection, and the chapbooks Blink Finch and The Dopamine Letters. Her poetry and prose has appeared inStirring: A Literary Collection, Gutter Eloquence, Arts & Letters, Redactions, and others. She earned her MFA from the University of Kansas in 2012. Currently, she lives and writes in St. Joseph, MO, where she teaches English at Missouri Western State University and coordinates the First Thursdays Open Mic at Norty’s Bar and Grill.