On Men


Wow      that’s what I was running away from
he yelled to his friend       who was standing
next to the other fat girl
in sixth grade dance without a partner

he put his hand on my shoulder
I don’t remember dancing
but still feel the shame in my seventies


the guys bought two birthday cakes
shaped like tits for the boss    the men sat together
eating      they thought this was amusing


my first boss out of horticulture school
who’d never hired a woman before
loaded my wheel barrow with so many rocks

the tire went flat


the office manager came into my small office
uninvited    he knew what I thought of him
he told me woman were sillies
taking out their keys
before reaching their front doors 
and that’s why they were attacked   

he thought using the word sillies
made what he said
less offensive


he saw the young woman at a wedding
put his hand on her naked back
she removed the hand

he called her aggressive


she worked in his office
he told her you’ve been raped
abused    he repeated himself
as if she’d forgotten
he asked her if she’s ever been
with an older man    she felt
he was grooming her


when my first husband left me
our marriage had lasted less then a year
he told me he hated the way I walked
sat     chewed my food. Before that moment
I didn’t understand how much I was hated


the pet rabbit bit one of my brother-in-laws nasty children
he kicked it to death      I can hear him
telling me wearing a mask
is for sissies         poetry for girls


Move the Blue Fuck Away From Me

You expect change
change a blue book falling
from a shelf

more bird song
a different brown flock

unendurable change
sagging blue flesh
the mind altered

my hair is white
I see brunette

life reduced to a few streets
on a map
everything on paper

A kind of house arrest  
sheltering in the smallest piece
of available real estate

my son yells
at every invisible word
out of his fathers mouth

my brother is about control
control a wicked pleasure
nothing he does keeps him safe

his fear blue     depressing
crushes me
a flower will not fill the void

my sister-in-law yells
I’m an old woman
move the blue fuck away from me


Rouge-Blue Slaps

Caught in a kaleidoscope
of abuse        rouge-blue slaps 
sharp edged kicks

clear acid melting women’s faces
my cousins pale body twisting
on Porn Hub

fisted rage 
tears through rough white sheets     
even if the borders weren’t closed

where could we go  
do I have enough hydro-morphine   
will I die in bed 

if I were to catalogue crimes
against woman       children
you’d blanch       grind your teeth      

refuse to listen


Bonnie started writing for the second time after she retired. She has been published among other journals in Rhino, Dunes Review, So To Speak and Entropy. She spends her work life gardening NYC rooftops and backyards with her husband and small crew.