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Girl Gets Sick of Rose

When I asked for a pencil, they gave me a rattle.

When I asked for a hammer, they gave me a kiss.

All mongrel, no matter, I’ll stay out past dinner;

I’ve stolen the answers to all of their tests.

I’ve given up sweets, their ridiculous shapes,

Their instructions on which ones have cherries.

Everything under the sun is lukewarm;

The poppies are blooming with worry.

When they gave me a map, I thought they were done,

I thought I could take off my dress.

They told me one town was as good as another;

Sent me packing, all fiddle, no case.

Each cul-de-sac greyed like a cooled blown bulb.

All dashboard, all driver, all sky & no cake,

Each neighborhood gatehouse, a live empty socket.

When they asked for my ticket, I gave them a wink.

The instructions all listed Step One as Repeat,

The poppies were planted in rows at the park.

I lived on a circle, then moved onto a square,

Then wandered back into the kitchen half-drunk.

The screen door, the scrim, the latch, the last word.

The glass throats of each vase open wide.

A house is the largest headstone we make;

We keep walking, grateful, inside.

from Neck of the WoodsFind more by Amy Woolard at the library

Copyright © 2020 Amy Woolard
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Amy Woolard Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.