Head, Thorax, and Abdomen | wisconsinacademy.org
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Head, Thorax, and Abdomen

First-place Winner – 2018 Poetry Contest

of a wasp appear from layers
of lace in your wedding dress.
It has just enough zest left
to sting like old vows and broken
promises. That same day you are
deep into spring cleaning your
daughter brings home
lice. Live insects are crawling
through her crooked part.

You distract her with fairy tales,
fractured so the princess never
needs toxic potions with snappy names
like RID or NIX. Years of marriage
are lost to a fine-tooth comb, metal
tines track each nit latched to
strands of her chestnut hair.

You wipe them away like bald-faced
lies, search the almanac hoping
for a cure that requires only a smudging
with cedar smoke. The school nurse
calls, reminds you to toss each soft doll
and security blanket into a dryer set
on high heat. Each cycle must
be dipped, scalded, or spun to death.

Meanwhile, the doorbell rings, papers
are served, toxic solvents are mixed
with chrysanthemum flowers.
Spring solstice is not made
from bee wings and the breath of sun
it is built from an ant stealing one
grain of sugar from the layer of
cake you’d saved for good luck.

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Jenna Rindo is the first-place winner of the Wisconsin People & Ideas 2018 Poetry Contest. Rindo and her husband raised five children on five acres in Pickett, Wisconsin, where they also tend a small flock of chickens and Shetland sheep.

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