PINK FLOWERS IN THE DARK
COULD LEARN TO CUT TREES

Early one morning
4:30 AM
to be exact
batches of
many petaled
sharp petaled
pink flowers
were watching Jupiter and Venus imitating Gemini
from behind a chain link fence
even in the dark I could see that each flower was pink,
pink flowers in the dark    the perfect metaphor for just so many
women
   that I remembered a scotch bottle in my hand and
cutting trees at a lumber mill

torsos shorn of limbs
skin peeled from bones
cut trees
lying one on top of another
in a pyramid stack

my father had me by my hair
bent over
and was beating my back with closed fists
with a scotch bottle I picked up from the floor next to his bed
I tapped his knee
with each testing tap I was submerged in
"I could burst this bottle and stab upwards"

bark can be tossed up to 10 feet by the stripper
and the mill saw gets so sticky and dull with sap
that the cutting has to be stopped
and the blade cleaned

           Leigh Radtke

LEIGH RADTKE works as an Exchange Representative in inside sales for ChemConnect, an on-line chemical exchange. To maintain her sanity she writes poetry. Leigh actively trains with many other women in a CQC (Close Quarter Combat) fighting system. She is an artist who has exhibited monotypes throughout the SF bay area.