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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

And I bent over like a sow


by Elisabeth Horan

Worked me over something good
Made me a jenny a heifer a mare
Used the gifts I brought to bear

My shoulders my muscle my mane
Flaxen haired pony…. A dappled
tease for a farmer, a dirt hand nothing

but dust bowl sneeze; always done as
you pleased, Daddy; dressed the corn
better than us – King Lear didn’t hold

a candle to what you dun, and all the
while, babies slipping out like eels
red and slick as the cancer cell, no meat,

no hog operation, no barnhall dance
will let Rose bloom nor bring her back
not all the tiles in the county, not 1000

acres, not these rickety Sears houses,
rising up through the corn, as tall and
whitewashed – as all these ghostly losses.

Header photograph © Caroline Bardwell.

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