Ophelia and Other Forces by Nichole McElhaney


Ophelia


I want to believe Ophelia rose from that watery grave

— spitting pearls and teeth —

hell-bent on strangling a kingdom that overlooked

the nocuous nature of a wildflower girl.


Goddess


Name your daughter Lilith and tell her she belongs to no man.
Name her
Circe
Morgana
Hekate
Medusa.
Tell her names have power.
Tell her she’s a force to be reckoned with.


Heritage


I think the women before 
me carried a sorrow in 
their bones that 
stretched
and stretched
and left me with an 
aftertaste that I can’t 
quite shake.


By: Nichole McElhaney

Follow Nichole: @nicholemcelhaneypoetry

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