Three Poems by Tina Parker

Double V

A bonnet for my girl

 The yarn   spun blue

   At rest     she lies

    Beyond       calm

     Ribbons      woven

Choke       sky

      I can’t hold the scissors

        Tight enough they slip

        slice the seam unravels

        Time pools in my hands

They call me filthy, covered in vermin

These bugs I carry
The ones I once fought
I shaved the boys’ heads
But hers I could not
Day after day after day
I went through her hair
Pulled strand by strand
Through the split nail
Of my index finger
There was no such thing as time
Only the click      click      click
As I flicked the bugs out
Only my hand resting on her head.


Once sun touched 
From the tops of trees
Now it comes out
By handfuls
I crochet into baby blankets
At night I gather strands 
In the corner
See I am here
Please tell them
I was here.

Tina Parker is the author of the poetry collection Mother May I and the poetry chapbook Another Offering. Her current work springs from historical research into the lives of women labeled as “other"—whether that be witch, insane, or hysterical. These poems stem from 19th and 20th century patient records of Southwestern State Mental Hospital in Marion, Virginia. Tina grew up in nearby Bristol, Virginia,, and now lives in Berea, Kentucky.

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