It’s easy for a man to turn a girl into a bird,
magic her into a frail, wishboned species
and force her into hushed silence
unless she pierces some vital part of herself: her lanky arm, a curving
make it look like a tussle with her mother’s award-winning rosebush.
If she is an artist with no medium: no paintbrush,
no pencil with a shiny tip to lick when no one’s looking,
then dip to the paper—bend her head to the job at hand,
she’ll seek out any kind of thorn to press against,
hook and lever, rip and struggle, and flounder
there, upon it, bloodletting a meaningless song—a dumb chirrup.
She could, perhaps, master an ancient and feminine craft:
crochet, knit, embroider—sharp clacking needles, all.
Choose red thread to tell it flat out; tell the tale, weave a scene of