JLC (1967 / Galesburg, Illinois)

The Baby Girl Speaks To The Spoon

Momma was a girl, only twelve.
Daddy was an old man. He run
moonshine. His business, he said.
Momma was also his business.
She fell to her knees beside you as
I started to push my way from her
warmth, when I dared to feel your
breath. She cried loud and silent,
scared of Daddy. She knew what
he did to daughters, knew his pain—
so, she gave me to you, who gladly
accepted her offering, prayers
and tears. You filled me with
your water, your life, carried me
from Knox to Fulton county and
beyond as the fish nibbled
my flesh, until nothing was left
that wouldn’t sink deep into
your heart, where I remain with
no name—the daughter of a river.

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