The child sits by an open window,
watches rain bounce off red clay
while Rufous-sided towhees wait out the storm,
grip tangled limbs of azaleas.

She hears wind
tear through leaves,
smells rain
as it pounds the earth.

she picks up scissors,
cuts off each finger
from her only doll.

The child talks to the doll,
tells her she is safe,
that without her fingers,
he will not tell her to touch him.

Linda WimberlyLinda Wimberly is a writer, artist, and musician from Marietta, GA. She has a degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities from the University of Alabama and performed as a vocalist and guitarist for over thirty years. Her poetry has appeared in Stone River Sky: An Anthology of Georgia Poems, Kalliope, and others, and a short story appeared in Cricket. Her vocal and choral compositions have been used in and published for schools, churches, and grief counseling centers. Linda is a self-taught abstract contemporary artist who works in acrylic, oil, and mixed media.