Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Last Girl  

by Donna Hébert

I wait for the next
Whoever he is, it is never the same
Sometimes I try to remember
But it’s better not to

The older women hid me
As long as they could
Rubbed dirt on my skin,
padded my middle
to make me
fat, unattractive
But I must be pretty
so by the time I was seven,
my childhood was over

One of the older women
could read and write
I was ten the year she was caught
with pen and paper
We had to watch
until she begged to die
and was, at last, granted her wish

I bore a child to one man only in my teens
He paid millions for the privilege,
then spayed me so
no other would
inhabit my womb
I nursed my son for three months
before they took him

Male children survive
But only the girls
they judge pretty and stupid
survived to mate
And those who own them
name their price
Now mine is above rubies
but it buys you nothing

Each waking moment I wait
for whatever comes
I no longer think of them as ‘who’
I tell myself I don’t care

Suicide? How many cameras
can you see in the room?

The last girl
The loneliest woman on earth
but never as lonely
as they will be
when I am gone

* * * * *

© 2013 Donna Hébert, all rights reserved

Donna Hébert, a fiddler since 1972, writes, performs, records, and teaches fiddle at Amherst and Smith Colleges. Her latest CD is a poetry and music collaboration, "The Infinite Dark," with Jane Yolen, Lui Collins and Max Cohen.

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