Rhiannon Thorne



When I was little, my aunt dreamed of daughters.
On the weekends, she would take me,
my dimples and my temper, show me flowers
blooming in her garden: the ground moist,
yellow pansies and sweet peas taller
than my four feet.

I collected garden toads, plucked one from the soil
then another, and she let me place them
in the old tub downstairs, its white walls inescapable.

I laid there quietly,
their little legs finning the water,
the press of ripples pruning my skin.

I was an empress in new clothes. All my subjects
loved me.

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