This poem didn't make it into the book.
THEY HADN'T RECKONED ON THE WOMAN
The little girl was a quiet gatherer,
ear pressed to doors.
She could slip into empty rooms
like cool through a cracked window.
She read notes she found in drawers.
She saw things
talkers didn't notice:
Every man has two faces.
Sometimes she was too much seen.
By then, telling
was like trying to run in dreams.
But the men told her stories--
bombs strapped to babies, hidden bottles.
She kept their secrets.
Their sins became her own;
they changed her
until she looked for herself in mirrors.
The secrets added up like coins
in a jar that overflowed.
What wanted to spill, she swallowed.
Still, the girl did what she was told,
was seen and not heard.
Her tongue slept in its dark womb.