Hush, Child. Let the Forest Do Its Growing.

Even when I was small everyone knew the size
of my voice. Once, a man asked if I still had my

tonsils, incredulous that a full
body could so fully resonate. My calm and measured

breath trembled our silent home, shuddered
its foundation, a mute swan shrugging off

the muddy river. I was enough to disturb
my father’s taproots, create a threat

of felling.  Men know a voice of any size
can fit within a fist so a fist

of any size is silence. He rooted deeper,
deeper, and the yard filled with pines

so tall they couldn’t see me
leaning against their trunks, never noticed me

humming softly to soothe myself.


For money, Krista Cox is a paralegal. For joy, she’s an associate poetry editor at Stirring: A Literary Collection and Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Program Director of Lit Literary Collective, a nonprofit serving her local literary community. Her poetry has appeared in Columbia JournalRappahannock ReviewThe Humanist, and elsewhere.


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