Sosha Pinson 

Re-entering The Garden

Mother’s warning hissed
let me tell you a secret

if you’re on your period
stay away from the garden

the scent of blood
carries, kills the cucumbers

and if I had any of that sticky fluid pooling
in my uterus to be released as a natural herbicide

I swear
it all traveled to my cheeks.

Her white shadow fingers
burned my wrist where circulation 

evaded Mother’s touch
as if my blood was ashamed

to make contact with her hands
as if when I ran up the hillside garden

my young body screamed Woman! Woman!
You do not yet know

your power!    and I—      desperate 
to disown this blood that made me 

ordinary. I was so strong, 
I carried nothing 

grew wild in the mountains like blackberries I loved
sticky purple juice 

stained hands, lips, blue jeans.
It’s been years 

since any cucumbers
were planted in that garden

rows overgrown with weeds
I’m free to bleed again

carry my blood and step between
unseeded rows

no coarse hand to plant, nourish, or keep me 
from burying

every discarded egg of my womanhood here
everything that cannot grow. Beloved garden 

once knew watermelons, tomatoes, 
squash, beans, corn—I believed my mother

when she told me
I was a threat— 

none of us will break ground here now 
or blanket it with horse manure

and when I stand at the edge of the hill
between drooping brown sunflower heads bent 

in prayer, I can see the stone
marked with plastic floral arrangements

that won’t die when unattended
but fade monthly, bleached by the sun.


Sosha Pinson is a born and bred Kentuckian transplanted into Northern Virginia. She received her MFA in Poetry from Drew University and her BFA in Creative Writing from Morehead State University. Her poems have recently been found or are forthcoming in Minerva Rising, Eunoia Review, and Dirty Chai among others. To fund her writing habit she works as an office assistant for a commercial plumbing company. She is obsessed with game shows and small animals.


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