bedtime story

Standard

Bedtime Story for the Bruised-Hearted
Donika Kelly

The trees were all women once,
fleeing a god whetted with lust

until their fathers changed them, bound
their bodies in bark, and still the god took:

a branch to crown his own head,
the reeds to hold his breath.

How like them, our fathers,
those small gods who unearthed

their children with rage,
who scored the bark

and bent the branch
to bind their bodies with our own.

Tonight, my love, we are free
of men, of gods, and I am a river

against you, drawn to current and eddy,
ready to make, to be unmade.

Photo by Alvin Engler on Unsplash