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Author: Hannah.
Year: Future

Please note: this piece contains strong language

‘Naw’ was the first of the sounds

She made as an infant child

In the very first grade.

‘Naw’ she said with her lips pressed

Firm, to the teacher whose attempt to

Impose her didactic will

Failed. Totally.

‘No’ she said with a poise unfamiliar

To impress the Mother of that months love.

‘Fuck off’ she said to the man who betrayed her

In the arms of another.

‘N.O.’ she said to the husband who thought her a Mother, Sister,

Wife, but not Partner.

‘No’ she said with the tears aflowing, her heart abreaking

And grief unknowing

To the adult daughters who forbid her speech

Or the right to question, or dig further deep.

‘Yes’ she said, to a life lived lone