You say it’s funny how your breasts
are gone but you remain. It was the same
for your grandmother (who still lives),
but your mother would not give them up
and so gave up everything else.
You couldn’t wait to get home;
but now, as we lie here in the calm
of this gradual waking-up, you say
our bed’s like an old acquaintance
who’s forgotten your name, and that
these last few days have you
thinking about freedom: how yours
waits in an aspen grove you ran to, as a girl,
when still too young to dread
the likelihood of your inheritance.
Parents away one weekend, you
lay out on a blanket in that canopied
cool, naked as a brook, and let a breeze
run its fingers over you, not really thinking
of boys or “husband,” just awakening
to your nature: “I was Virgin of the Forest!”
you tell me. “The Eve without the Adam.”
Now you’re stealing away without effort
into sleep again, and the dawn
still dawning; my face must look
as gray as yours through this curtain-
drawn light. A squirrel hurries over
the roof, and is gone; a bird calls
to another of its kind, and in the response
is the song. It’s late-July
outside, and I can hear leaves whishing
somewhere in a warmer wind.
Jason M. Vaughn lives on a farm in Kansas City, KS.