I will build a house
I will build a house at the forest’s edge
For the wild girls who loathe hunters
Live by shadow and moonlight, escape artists
Surviving at the margins if they can.
A house with generous windows, secret doors
Many rooms of respite and sanctuary
Places to sleep soundly for the girls
Who will not be tamed or trained
Who come and go at all hours by whim
As sexual or chaste as they desire
And at no man’s bidding.
I will build a house for the girls
Other stories like to kill while lamenting
Their being too good for this world
The girls whose unkempt beauty reads
As a debt to those who would tidy
Them up to screw them over and crush
The lush, untarnished splendour of their souls.
A house for girls with blood on their hands
For witches and sirens. For those who howl
At the moon, and those who root
In the earth, the ephemeral, and filthy alike
Welcome under this roof.
I will grow an orchard, a herb garden
Keep chickens and not become too fond
Of them, just in case.
I will build a house for the unrepentant
Unacceptable girls who neither kneel nor beg
Whose proud, flashing eyes are glorious wild
And I will build a house to shelter
Every woman whose spirit still holds
Some part of the wild girl who was
Punished into hiding deep inside her
And I will build a house.