Jenn Blair


What did I want with two?

Should a peasant woman sprout
another pair of breasts, and
the rich one hire another
skulk-ish fat nurse maid?

The one wail was enough.
Then the doctor moved
again, put his hands out
again, and I was sunk.

Lest you now fear a
tale of horror, so many
kittens in the proverbial
sack, let me assure you:
I am a busy woman
but not without a heart.
So I chose.
And how, of those two
similar squashed up
lumps, I will tell you.
She was quiet.
She was the one
too afraid to cry.
The storm was sent off
to the nearest orphanage
and I went on with my life.

As the years passed, of course
I had cause, in between rougings,
to reflect. What a loud wail she set
up when she fell off her father’s
horse, how dramatically she
stomped up the stairs, the pert
toss of her head—all things
which gave me cause to believe
the moment of revelation
not so telling.

Then France interfered and my love
went off to help subdue that little
dumb peacock of a tyrant at the Nile.
How they loudly chanted victory
in every square as she and I walked
unnoticed except for a strange long look
every once in a while and now
he is dead and I am failing,
in this strange town and boring room
with my clumsy daughter too slow
in bringing me my hot breakfast.
Which leads me again to wonder
where the good child is dwelling now.

Jenn Blair is originally from Yakima, WA. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Hollins University and is currently a teaching assistant and PHD student at the University of Georgia in Athens.

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