If someone snagged me
yanked me choking
into light
bludgeoned me
and ripped me
belly to breast,
they’d find you

                 your barbed wire arms
                 caught deep in flesh
                 already hardened
                 into scars

                 my slatted ribs a crate
                 that can’t contain
                 your shame

                 the saddle of my pelvis
                 weighted with rocks
                 you threw
                 and then forgot.

Your choice
to bluff your life
takes mine.



Patrice Claeys came late to creative writing, following years in publishing and PR, as well as raising a family. After practicing at Northwestern University’s Osher Life-long Learning Center, she earned a Certificate in Poetry from the University of Chicago Writer’s Studio. The poetry group Plumb Line Poets has inspired her ever since. Her work has appeared in Beech Street Review, Bird’s Thumb, Found Poetry Review, Nassau Review, the Aurorean, and others, and is forthcoming in Open: Journal of Arts and Letters. She was a featured artist in Light: A Journal of Photography and Poetry and has been nominated for Best of the Net by Blue Heron Review. Patrice is a long-time contributor to the Mom Egg Review.




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