by Renee Emerson

Curl into the pink and dotted coverlets of your girlhood
bed to sleep back the years—the marriage, the dissolution
of marriage.  Play the games little girls play, the foot-work
and jumping games, the rhyming and guessing games.
Take up simple chores—chopping vegetables for your mother,
tucking clothes into closets like empty children.

Return to your mother’s house.  Let her braid your coarse hair,
let her smooth everything back, sew you into new clothes,
wash your feet, your body, offer you up new to the world,
as she offered herself up to your father, and to you.  Let her
ask no questions and make no arrangements.  Let her guard
you like a found bird-shell, cupped in both hands, a frail blue.


Renee Emerson is the author of Keeping Me Still, a collection of
poetry published by Winter Goose in 2014.  Her poems have appeared
Indiana Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, 32 Poems, and other
literary journals.  Emerson teaches at Shorter University and lives in
Georgia with her husband and daughters.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 10, Number 1
(Spring 2015)

Copyright © 2015
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.