The Gift

Thinking she was the gift
they began to package it early.
They waxed its smile
they lowered its eyes
they tuned its ears to the telephone
they curled its hair
they straightened its teeth
they taught it to bury its wishbone
they poured honey down its throat
they made it say yes yes and yes
they sat on its thumbs.

That box has my name on it,
said the man. It’s for me.
And they were not surprised.
While they blew kisses and winked
he took it home. He put it on a table
where his friends could examine it
saying dance saying faster.
He plunged its tunnels
he burned his name deeper.
Later he put it on a platform
under the lights
saying push saying harder
saying just what I wanted
you’ve given me a son.

– Carole Oles


A truly disturbing poem, and I generally have a strong stomach. Another Minstrels find.
This one goes out to all those (?)well-meaning people who shove dolls at girls and tanks at boys. I could deliver a half-page rant about gender roles and society, but let’s not and say we did, shall we? Instead, I’ll point you to this, mention the mountains that are human trafficking and female infanticide and leave it at that.

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