The TSA officer leads my grandma
into a windowless room, lifts
her blouse in an intimate way.
It is the first time
she has been touched there in twenty years.
This would be her last flight.
The first night mine filled with milk,
the pain, a tidal wave. I would have drowned
had your eyes not locked onto mine,
had I not been drunk
with the power of knowing my body alone
was keeping you alive.
Buds. That’s what The Body Book calls yours.
You laugh at the drawings
pull on your first bra, pink and polka dotted.
You hide them under a baggy sweatshirt,
complain about soreness.
Now you ask me, what is a rape whistle,
a phrase you heard in a movie.
Later you bounce on the trampoline,
jam box loud –
the someone who lurks
on the other side of the wall
through the twisted branches of our neighbor’s olive tree.
About the Author
Andrea Parrella lives in Scottsdale Arizona with her husband and two children. She is so grateful to Professor Lois Roma-Deeley at Paradise Valley Community College for being such a wonderful mentor. Andrea is currently building a portfolio to apply to an MFA in creative writing.
Powerfully haunting poem. I love how it takes us through three generations of women to explore the different kinds of violations that can happen to the female body.