My darling son/leaving the party/behind the dumpster/her body/pale moon flash/flung on a bed of leaves/body torn open like an envelope/dead not dead/you bend to touch her throat/a pulse/gently roll her/eyes open stare beyond you/up hill near the lake/shadows punching/you approach/we got him/call the police/you gather scattered clothes/cover her up/ a little/crouch and wait/her hair’s a nest of pine needles/over a year later/after the judge/gives her rapist/a light sentence/in her anonymous open letter/she remembers pine needles/in her hair/waking up in the hospital/picking them out one by one/each a jab/she will know only your name/not your face/you will never know her name/know her face/surfacing like a fish in your dreams.
Poet’s Note: This poem captures the experience of my son who stumbled onto the scene, called the police and cared for the victim.
Judge Aaron Persky, who ruled in sex assault case, recalled in Santa Clara county [San Francisco Chronicle]
State Attorney General responds to Brock Turner appeal [Palo Alto Online]
Here is the powerful letter the Stanford rape victim read aloud to her attacker [Buzzfeed News]
Heidi Seaborn started writing in 2016. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Nimrod, Penn Review, Yemassee Journal, American Journal of Poetry. She’s the 2018 Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize winner and finalist for the 2018 International Literary Awards Rita Dove Award in Poetry, Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, 2017 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award and Lauren K. Alleyne Difficult Fruit Poetry Prize. The Seattle-based poet is a New York University MFA candidate, graduate of Stanford University and on The Adroit Journal staff.
Image depicts questions posed to the victim during the Brock Turner trial.