The Flush In Her Cheeks

She’s still a baby at five,

still a baby at eight,

hair touching the

base of her spine,

marking her years and the shade

to shelter the pain.

She’s hiding behind her hair and

no one asks why.

No one questions why little girls

feel uncomfortable in skirts,

bare thighs silent,

bones screaming to be freed.

She was nine when she first

straddled my hips,

only thin knickers between us

and I heaved.

I focused on the freckles hiding

the flush in her cheeks and we

loved one another through the

palms of our hands,

lying in our confusion with just

the wind to quench our thirst.

Rachel Finch 2018

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