Jennifer Schomburg Kanke


The girls we were before this: loud and brash,
hooting and hollering, we felt filled with power
playing The Snake on hillsides green and lush
with our hands interlocked and whipping back and forth
to music known but never heard aloud.
On asphalt playgrounds hot with hormones’ flush,
we beat the boys at all their sports and games.
In this, in everything, we were so in tune.
And now we’re not. Dear ones, please stop yourselves
from walking paths we’ve paved for you with blood.
The way we learned to silence screams, dissent,
and want. The way we knifed ourselves each day
with no idea the harm it did to us
and how the creeps just kept on creeping on.


Jennifer Schomburg Kanke, originally from Columbus, Ohio, lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where she edits confidential documents for the government. Her work has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, Nimrod, Massachusetts Review, and Salamander. Her chapbook, Fine, Considering, about her experiences undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, is available from Rinky Dink Press.