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Friday, May 24, 2019


by Marsha Owens

We rode the same school bus,
but Trudy had boobies.
Like a scrub bush by the road
she sat alone, her face pressed
to the window. Some boy
always dropped in beside her
like he was doing her a favor.

One day, she didn’t ride the bus,
her absence an exhale never missed.
Mom said she went to the home
out on the highway where girls
go who get themselves pregnant.

Christina in English class got all As,
went to church, went all the way
& got herself pregnant, shameful
they said & she watched her boyfriend
march in graduation, then in Vietnam.

I saw a movie, smokey, sharp needles & dark
alleys, men jumping in & out of cars,
off & on girls with hollowed-out eye sockets,
pain screamed like life caught in a trap.

Back in my dorm I hung up my blouse,
coat hangers jangled impatience like little
girls who just want to go outside and play.

Marsha Owens lives and writes in Richmond, VA. Her work has been published in The Wild World Anthology, Streetlight Magazine, Huffington Post, and others. She co-edited the anthology Lingering in the Margins.