Size / / /

If you knew about the wolves,
you'd never love me
as your own daughter.
Here I sit in her place,
Marjatta's place.

I eat the rye porridge
you've cooked for me, Mother,
with the wooden spoon
you've carved for me, Father,
as I take up the space
of your dead daughter.

I watched from the woods,
hungry and lonely.
Father tilled the potato field,
Mother spun yarn
from the sheep's coats.
Daughter tended those sheep
in a forest clearing,
returning in the evenings
to the house where light greeted her
at the doorway, and inside
was love and safety.

I watched the family.

I wanted.

When you found Marjatta, throat torn,
your keening chilled my heart.
But I knew you'd grow to love me
when I came to take her place.
After the burial,
I came lost to your door,
a child in the dark.

Mother, Father,
you took me in.

Just like I wanted.




Sara Norja dreams in two languages. Her poetry has appeared in publications such as Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, inkscraw, and Interfictions. Her short fiction has appeared in various publications and is forthcoming in Flash Fiction Online and An Alphabet of Embers (ed. Rose Lemberg). She is @suchwanderings on Twitter.
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8 Jul 2024

The statue of that gorgeous and beloved tyrant, my father, stands in a valley where the weather has only ever been snow.
Panic will come / for every fuckwitted one of us
Neural-lace, my brain interfaced
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