All That She Wanted
One time they hit her. But that is all
she wanted to say to me. She covered
the welt on her cheekbone with
foundation. I was ten. We were
almost thirteen. Years later they
moved to California. Uncle was a pilot.
She didn’t get pregnant, not even
when she went back for his apology
and that time he had four friends
with him. He was a boy from church.
Her mother said “I have a slut
of a daughter.” I visit her in the hospital.
I didn’t like my uncle but he never
touched me. Mom sent me to stay
with him when I was ten. I brought her
the Tori Amos tape with the rape
song. Me And A Gun. The boy said
“I want to tell you I’m so sorry.”
She had such a crush on him. Kept
going for pregnancy tests. She didn’t
scream. It was acapella. Almost.
My mom said that my friend needed
to get help. My mom said that when
my uncle did it to her she didn’t
get her period for months.
She said thank you for keeping me
alive. He sat eating pork rinds
on the biggest couch I’d ever seen.
Those Christian boys. I told.
Lisa Baird is a poet, a community acupuncturist, and a queer white settler living on Attawandaron/Neutral territory (Guelph, Ontario). Her work appears or is forthcoming in Arc Poetry Magazine, Rattle, Winter Tangerine Review, Poetry Is Dead, PRISM, The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care, and elsewhere. Visit her online at www.lisabaird.ca.