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H o w   Y o u   H a v e   G r o w n

When she was twelve
Her grandfather rocked her on his lap
When she was thirteen
Her uncle held her under the bosom
And hugged her hard, saying,
How she had grown
So big and beautiful
When she was fourteen
Her cousin invited her to his room
To show her his books
And some other things of interest
Feigning a normalcy
Neither of them knew was

By the time she was fifteen
She was ready to take on
The world of men
Her body her sorrow and her weapon.


[First published in Surface Online, 2003]

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