I suppose
you had your reasons.
You needed to sail free,
to get on with things.
One mustn’t waste time —
one mustn’t fuss.

Good girl, good girl,
step right up. Don’t fuss.

I hoped one of you would
slip through the crowd and
hide the ax again and again.
I hoped one of you would
weave flowers through
my hair and whisper
beautiful one, brave one
into my tender ears.
I hoped my mother would
discover the imminent savagery
and demand vengeance.
(Does a woman get vengeance?)

Hope bleeds out, too,
my family.

Now the gusts have come
to bear all of you away.
The last of my breath
will follow you onto land,
sighing please remember,
but you will brush it 
away from your ears.
That breath will burrow
into the loamy earth
to feed your hungry roots —
you will rise like mighty oaks,
a forest of prosperity.

You will never thank me.

*In Greek mythology, King Agamemnon of Greece sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia so that the goddess Artemis would release his stranded ships and allow them to sail to Troy.

Dheepa R. Maturi is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. Her poetry has appeared (or is forthcoming) in The Fourth River, Crosswinds, Every Day Poems, The Offbeat, Jaggery, Flying Island, Hoosier Lit, The Indianapolis Review, and elsewhere. She lives with her family in Indianapolis.

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