We always knew that bitch was hot for it.
It was in the way she looked at him,
her eyes midnight slits
between splayed lashes.
It was how she said his name,
her call to him a brazen snowdrop
breaking through winter
then shyly hanging its soft white head:
It wasn’t just Peter though.
One night, Slightly showed us
the pictures she’d sent him.
We passed the phone around,
had a laugh and a wank
in our bunks. Come morning,
we pretended like nothing was different.
Let her rub our backs and sing to us,
just as she’d always done.
Only now we knew the prickles
that passed through her palm.
We heard the way her voice darkened.
She tucked us in and gave us tonics,
wanted us drowsy and warm between sheets.
She made us call her Mother--
some kind of kink, we figured.
Because of course we’d heard of mothers,
of course we had.
Some of us even remembered our own:
soft, gentle creatures
who smudged the mud from dirty faces
and never went to war with nobody.
And maybe all our Wendy wanted
was to take what was lost of us
and mend it like she did the pockets,
patch our torn seams and stitch our frayed edges,
ready us to hold.
She was a good bird, that Wendy.
Any one of us’d be well chuffed
to find one like her now.
Marie Marandola received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She now lives in San Diego, where she remains in the habit of picking up fallen bits of trees and giving them to people.