Eighteen

from Central Waters Brewing Company – Amherst, Wisconsin

Get the next train ticket outta here.

The dirt road
you heard would save you
                        takes you halfway out of prison.

Freedom is a hushed slush
that seems delicious
                        when you’re seventeen.

It’s a ladder leading you down to the city

It’s a pick-up truck waiting
for a chipped-tooth guffaw

and the man who says
your hair smells of hops
                                                —and the man—
                                                who says your hair
                                                smells of hops

knows the secret of becoming a woman.

Your youth then sheds its shards
and you lay your head
upon the dashboard
                        like it’s what you have decided man to be.

What a bitter disappointment this womanhood is

How it barely fills
your frothy mug.

Lisa Marie Brodsky is the author of poetry collections We Nod Our Dark Heads (Parallel Press, 2008), and Motherlung (Salmon Poetry, 2014), which received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her poetry has been published in North American Review, Mom Egg Review, Peacock Journal, Diode Poetry Journal, Verse Wisconsin, SUSAN / The Journal, Poetry Quarterly, The Drowning Gull, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Poetry South, and has work forthcoming in Barrow Street and Inklette, among others. As faculty member at AllWriters’ Workplace & Workshop, Brodsky teaches classes on emotional healing through creative writing. Her web site can be found at: https://lisamariebrodsky.blogspot.com.

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