by Robin Turner

slip off those little red mary janes
the detested damp socks
edged in chafing lace

and slide down safe beside her
my bare feet pressed against
the cool dark wood of her

solid old upright
in the corner of grandmother’s summer porch
she was my first soulmate

some grown-up was always muttering
about tuning the poor off-key creature
about making her music just right


ROBIN TURNER is the author of bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce women (Porkbelly Press, 2016). A teaching artist in Dallas, Texas, she brings poetry to youth shelters, arts camps, and community centers, and serves as an online writing guide to homeschooled teens. A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and public poetry projects.


Photo: “Hiding” by Jason Farrar