|Cover created by Tim O’Brien, Professor at Pratt Institute and President at Society Of Illustrators|
Hate crimes are increasing in schools.
That's a lie, Mother stammers over the phone.
No, it's a fact.
Well they deserve it,
putting "Black Lives Matter" stickers
on the back of their cars.
Of course they matter . . .
The drought outside is not a drought.
The planet is not warming.
It's just a dry spell.
Let it go. We'll be fine.
More than one million?
There were no pink hats.
Even if there was an "alleged" march,
it's obvious they didn't vote
Mother puts shackles on my hands,
says it's the latest fashion,
says to be happy where I am.
Silent, stay, good girl.
I am in a room with no mirrors
no windows, no way of reflecting.
I shed tears into my hand,
look for hope in a cupped pond,
but the water has seeped,
through, skin cracks in
I start chanting, release me, release me.
Mother fixes her crown and says,
There's no prison here.
We live in a castle made of ice cream.
I chant louder and louder
until I can hear a frenzy of pink hats
chant in unison.
Mother frowns, asks a servant
to bring her another reporter's head on a platter.
And cut off these daughters' ears.
All of them, the servant asks.
All of them, she says,
then goes back to tweeting about her day.
Kristina England resides in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is a writer and photographer.