She volunteered to become ma to me after callingthe one who birthed but left me, whore. I becamean Every Daughter, chipped myself into anarchipelago, skimmed desert sands, daughteredand disappointed the two of them, being born ofpoison oak, distrusting forgiveness but making nowaves. In secret, I redesigned myself as twins—
the first quite quiet, the other wanton and readyto call out the militia with their weapons neversharp enough. My ma and my whore never metas far as, well you know, and me?—I'm nightmarishin the undergrowth, like the endangered WhistlingWarbler, one blue note increasing by degree, thenending, like any other species with one dark wing— [End Page 152]
Lynne Thompson is the author of Start With a Small Guitar (What Books Press, 2013) and Beg No Pardon (Perugia Press, 2007), winner of the Perugia Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges Association's New Writers Award. In 2018, Jane Hirshfield selected her manuscript Fretwork (2019) as the winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, Colorado Review, Nelle, Pleiades, and New England Review, as well as the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California.