Poems & Essays

15 Oct


General/Column No Response

is how the dermatologist names the stretch marks

on my breasts, there from being filled with milk,

hourly at first, then

every three hours, drained and then stretched

to capacity, past it, during the first lengthening nights

of more sleep, then more.        More sleep,

more stretching, darker purple


Now they are my daughter’s favorite color. The kind of dog she wants.

The only crayon.

The color of her first sheet set

on a bed she still does not sleep in.

Oh lavender!   Sleep aid, soothing

disinfectant, scent on fresh linens,

Mother of other herbs, salve for headaches, insect bites, and burns. Holy and sweet.

I petition you to fade.



Katie Kalisz is a Professor in the English department at Grand Rapids Community College, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Loyola University of Chicago, and Queens University of Charlotte. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their three children. Her first book, Quiet Woman, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag.

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