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If her dress were once curtains,
then her daughter flung from a horse
was not always a corpse.
She once ran around the house,
a tempest in pin-curls
demanding sugary treats.
Ambivalence is a shade
not in season at the funeral
of your own child.
Scarlett knew this.
Black organza choked her insides,
stifling ornate apologies that would never
truly surface.
Motherhood was overrated, she thought,
as was eating roots and radishes.
She imagined herself
swathed in red
christening a newfound dawn
of individuation.
She would never dance on her daughter’s grave,
but she didn’t plan on shedding tears either.
Heartless Scarlett.
Heartless Scarlett.
No red “A” on her chest
but she still makes the grade.

 

 

This poem is dedicated to Sheryl Scheffert, who offered the prompt!

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