Jen Edwards – Circus

//Jen Edwards – Circus

Jen Edwards – Circus

Jen Edwards


I remember where I came from:
            my parents blind
from the dust, bowl shaped scars carved
            in their skin. The earth sieved

through the roof when the storm ended        
            the drought. They needed me

to leave forever. They shook my hand,
            my long stalk trembling

in the night wind. I didn’t know a child
            could leave home alone.

I didn’t know a mother could hurt herself,
            that blood was not thick enough

to bind. I saw a raw fire bloom
             across her face,

my father’s palm quick to snuff it out.
            I joined the circus:

the girl with the monkey tail, amputated       
            legs. I swung on elephant

trunks, got paid in bananas. Me Jane, You Tarzan,
            I squealed. Little girls

in mother’s pearls cried for me. Fashioned legs
             out of lime

popsicle sticks, sat under the canopy of my long
            brown hair. They named me

Charity. Their grandfather’s clocks ticked
            seconds in hallways.

I learned that love requires a hammer
            and a feather pillow.
I learned the weight of a doll’s house
            under my fingertips. 

Jen Edwards’ poetry has previously appeared in The Laurel Review, The Journal, Confrontation, and is forthcoming in The Normal School and The Pinch. She is a PhD candidate in English at Oklahoma State University where she studies with Lisa Lewis. Currently, she is the Associate Editor of the Cimarron Review.

By |2018-12-05T15:26:24+00:00December 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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