The Voice Issue 30: July/August 2017 - Page 14


The First Time

My hand trembled

Against hard pink plastic

And cold metal meshed

With a mess of dark tangled

As each strip of soapy skin

Became suddenly, lusciously


Just minutes before

I could have run my fingers

Through the coarse hair

That had covered my leg

The coarse hair

That now lay in curly clumps

Atop a silver drain.

I wonder how much of myself

I shaved off that day

Whether that part of me

Was gone for good

For hair never grows

The same way twice —

Would I want it back?


East Middlebury, VT

Desiree Holmes, Essex Junction, VT


Thunder rolls across the hills

A tidal wave of sound

I run before it surrounds me

Its walls are closing down

The sky screams and shakes

Its jolts and


Begging for attention

It cries


From its cage

Lashes out

An unloved child

The raging tantrum continues


And then the calm after the storm

-Claudia Mills, Bethel, VT