Orchard Girl

OrchardThey say I oughta be able

to get back to workin in a couple weeks,

soon as the stitchin heals up.  I keep thinkin

that doctor did something wrong, cause I know

I’m stitched up tighter than before

and then I keep thinkin maybe

Papa had something to do with it.

Maybe he asked him to stitch me shut.

 

Papa don’t look at me the same as before,

in fact, he don’t look at me much at all.

Says I shouldn’t a worn my hair down,

wasn’t proper, and in the dark the other night,

he told Mama, when he looked at me, all he saw

was what that boy did.

 

Soon as my dress started gettin tight

he stopped takin me to town and said

I’d be best to stay in the house and make myself

a new one.

 

The day the tall stranger come with a woman

in a blue dress and feathered hat,

he called me out so’s they could get a good look.

She was real nice and said I had “nice eyes” and

“a good jaw line.”  The man shook Papa’s hand

and they drove off.  “Best thing,” he said,

“lucky they come along,” but he wasn’t talkin

to me.  He don’t talk to me anymore.

 

All he said when my pains come was,

“Best get in the truck.” Mama come too

and she squeezed my hand so tight

under the edge of her skirt,

it liked to fall right off.

 

Mama stayed with me,

wiped the sweat from my face, and

when it was all done she wrapped

up my chest so tight I couldn’t hardly breathe.

S’posed to keep the milk from comin, but it did

anyway and I thought I know

how the fruit must feel

if nobody comes to take it when it’s ripe.

Just oozes with juice till it dies.

 

~Darci Hawxhurst for the Poplar Grove Muse

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