When they crammed me into clothes,
dropped me at the school, unceremoniously,
with all the other little beasts. I knew
the jig was up. I knew this wasn’t
going to go down well.
Doesn’t play well others. Has trouble sharing.
Poor understanding of boundaries.
Oh, I understood boundaries alright.
There was my space within this world.
Then there was everyone else.
Rules were everywhere. Unwelcome.
Forbidding. Confusing. Of course,
I bared my teeth and snarled. Who wouldn’t?
I pissed in the corner. I picked
my nose. I knew some basic shit
outside of books. Like: the best way to ride
a horse is bareback; hound dogs
love to share their ticks; following
the creek will almost always
get you home. Yeah, my mama,
with her own sharp teeth, wild eyes,
warned me about this world. Dirt in
my nails, fleas on my arms, brambles
in my hair, I loved: rolling in dust,
pond wallowing, mud, and oaks.
I feared: speakers, schedules, sitting
still, shut windows, closed doors.
How was I supposed to breathe?
The axis of the world had shifted.
My mama instructed me. The exits
are few, and far between. Park
yourself next to one. Wait
for your chance, and then,
Lucy M. Logsdon
Lucy M. Logsdon’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in such publications as: Poet Lore, Nimrod, The Southern Poetry Review, Sixfold, Conclave, Seventeen, The California Quarterly, Chicken Scratch Lit, and Kalliope. She has been the recipient of a Macdowell Writer’s Colony fellowship, and received her MFA from Columbia University. Currently, she teaches at Southeastern Illinois college. In her spare time, she raises chickens and ducks with her husband.
Photo: Caryn Drexl, “What Little Girls Are Made Of”