Bloodline | Paulann Petersen



The moon is wet nurse
to roses. She suckles
each soft-mouthed poppy.

Blame her for menses.
Rail at her for the craving
to binge and purge.

Please her when you choose
to delay the day for planting, 
biding your time 
until night has fattened 
her silver torso.  Praise her 
when the fleck of seed 
poked down into damp dark
takes hold and swells.

Any girl-child is always
her offspring.

Upbraid her for your daughter's
sass and door-slams,
that hot hurry to be what most
differs from you.

Long ago, the moon decided 
on a pathway against the route 
stars take. No one else 
would dare to walk
the black sky backward.

                                 —Paulann Petersen


The Voluptuary, Lost Horse Press, 2010


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