domestic terrorism

chemicals poured on hair
not curly enough to please a monster
who thinks i’m a doll

poison drips down
eyes shut tight
the world burns

tears mingle with the drip
biting furrows into tender skin
on five year old cheeks

hair rolled tight in paper
clamped with metal teeth
digging deep into tender scalp

the next time i run
screaming no! i won’t! it hurts! it burns!
then i’m cutting it off the monster snarls

dragged across the room tied to a chair
out come the shears shining silver
in the sunny yellow kitchen

harsh hands twist wobbly neck
as recalcitrant undesirable not curly hair
is chopped off mid-ear

the shearing over the scarecrow untied
the monster smiles and says
i hope you’re happy now

we rant in pretended purity over what
barbarians do in prisons buried in sand
forgetting not all torture lives in dark damp cells

RC deWinter

RC deWinter’s poetry is widely anthologized, notably in New York City Haiku (NY Times, 2/2017), easing the edges: a collection of everyday miracles, (Patrick Heath Public Library of Boerne, 11/2021) The Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Anthology (River Bend Bookshop Press, 12/2021), in print: 2River, Event, Gargoyle Magazine, Genre Urban Arts, the minnesota review, Night Picnic Journal, Plainsongs, Poetry South, Prairie Schooner, Southword, The Ogham Stone, Twelve Mile Review, Variant Literature, York Literary Review among many others and appears in numerous online literary journals.
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