For Sheryl St.Germain
In the beginning her wildness terrified us.
Black as river mud.
The small jungles under her arms
made boys in the back of the stale classroom
This is not what we thought
woman should be.
Opening her crooked mouth
blood, bawdy, breath,
moving her long fingers
like wands over a cauldron,
reading out loud of bread and want,
the push of tooth through flesh.
Once, I saw her in the bathroom,
next to the sink,
scrubbing menstrual blood from her skirt
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