Kristin Roedell


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The day choice was lost
we shopped for a red dress;
I could not touch
the hangers.

Outside her window,
the rust in the rain
bucket bled.

I held her girl scout sash,
and thought of youth falling
slick and certain
through her pubic hair;
I dreamt she emptied
a pail In the woods,
and seeded a tree of
blood red oranges.

I didn't say
I'd drawn two fetuses
from my body,
that I could keep only her—
but she has an instinct
for survival.

Young women do survive.
Soon they'll return
to the woods,
and take the seeds
back from the roots;
they'll stain their lips
bold eating crimson fruit,

they'll bathe nude
in the rain bucket.
They won't be quiet
or shamed.
When youth falls, sure
and certain,
it will be into
their hands.


Kristin Roedell is a retired attorney and Northwest poet.She is the author of Girls With Gardenias (Flutter Press 2012), and Downriver, (Aldritch Press 2015). Her work has appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Crab Creek Review, Switched on Gutenberg, and VoiceCatcher, among others. She was the 2103 winner NISA’s 11th Annual Open Minds Quarterly Poetry Contest, (a national magazine focused on mental health); she received an Honorable Mention in 2018. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 25.