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  You could have a big dipper   

You Try To by Marie Little

You wonder

if you have enough angst

trauma guilt shame rage

to write a really meaty poem

that reads in a minute

but lingers

reappears under the jam lid

or your little one's nails

in the smell of a sheet

the pull of a brown hairband.

You try to draw on past


allow yourself a moment to

remember when you didn’t really like yourself

all your belongings in a tea chest that

you used to sit on

that snagged your clothes

but was something to read when vodka

slumped you into


Your brother had trousers

cut from flour sacks on

some foreign trip –

they were cool but

your tea chest not even

boho in the right light.

You try to imagine saying sorry

to the men

at the bottom of red wine glasses

short sticky nightclub cocktails

whose sweat you licked like


boys with the wrong teeth

with sisters who might have been friends.

You try to draw on all the heavy


the days with too much breath – fast

in inexperienced churchyards

or not enough

to make phone calls

which end with upturned voices

gone limp.


Marie Little (she/her) lives with her husband, three boys and a very silly cat. She used to teach; she now pretends to be a robot/monster/sock and drinks tea from buckets. Marie has work featured/forthcoming in: Ink Sweat & Tears, The Cannon’s Mouth, Cool Rock Repository, Anti-Heroin Chic, Re-Side, Gastropoda and more. @jamsaucer

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