LaShuandra Jackson (3rd place. Poetry. Fall 2011 Writing Contest)
What a horrid craft, now instilled in me
No one, yet many will understand the torture I see.
I stood so pure in a long-sleeved gown, but
If others knew what my brother had in store
Maybe then, and only then, would I not be forced to lie down.
What is it like to have a brother with a common father
Of yours lust after your flesh?
I knew that a single woman should not dare be alone
With a single man, but
It was by our father’s request.
Deceived by half of my flesh and my own kin,
It was not any fault of mine, yet
I have sinned.
Sin claimed my brother, husband, and
His brother to follow.
Now days wrapped in garments of despair must I wallow?
No more abuse, for I am free.
I belong to no man. It’s
My turn to deceive.