C H I L D   O F   A R T E M I S



She left me in the woods.

Her nymphs cluttered me, 
             an attendant for every fold of my skin

But I was no queen, no goddess

The holm oak made a trade to keep me
              And I lived as free-
                                      fallen as acorns. 

I spied her sometimes, my mother. 
Her strong shoulders set in perpetual hunt.

But her womb, her womb –

I can tell you 
            she is gentle

I have seen the folds of her dreams    
              Closer than any lover, my pulse 
                                     a part of them

I can tell you 
             her heart is a purple flare, 
             a light that feigns explosion,

And she is always dreaming it 
                  out of open palms.

Emily Stoddard writes poetry, essays, and the occasional short story. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Menacing Hedge, Watershed Review, Cactus Heart, An Alphabet of Embers, Big Scream, and elsewhere. She is the founder of Voice & Vessel, a writing studio based in Michigan. More at www.emilystoddard.com. 

 E M I L Y   S T O D D A R D

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