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There lived happily a girl

     Her great alone
her little pillow for the dead
   her winter warm as blood

—its darkest empty
          its hunger

Time did not appear long to her
for she walked as far as the sky
             is blue
   as far as the mercy
          of deer

Full of gladness
she wished for a moment
of laughter

   licking at her clothes
with its red tongue

She laughed until her death


The above poem is an erasure of Margaret Hunt's 1884 translation of “The Twelve Brothers” from Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm.

Jade Riordan is an Irish-Canadian poet, an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, and a selection committee member (poetry reader) with Bywords. Her poetry has appeared in The Blue Nib, Cha, Cordite Poetry Review, L'Éphémère Review, Noble / Gas Qtrly, and elsewhere.
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21 Nov 2022

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