On the eve of her thirteenth birthday,
the stones are laid in rows like an abacus,
their reds and golds deepening into ash.
Her hips swollen like waterlogged cacti,
belly ballooning like puff pastry
over the folds of dress.
The gathered behead poppies
and throw them over the coals
as the library inside her home floods.
Books gone to ruin.
Spines cracked like her mother’s skin
as it sang over fire.
They lower her in,
daughter & unborn both,
this crowd of angry men.
Only one survives.

BIO: Meggie Royer is a writer and photographer from the Midwest who is currently majoring in Psychology at Macalester College.

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