Later, they found her journal

June 9, 2016


Tina Parker grew up in Bristol, Virginia, and now lives in Berea, KY with her husband and two young daughters. Her poetry has received support from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and individual poems have appeared in Rattle, PMS: poemmemoirstory, Appalachian Heritage, Still: The Journal, and The Collapsar, among others. Her chapbook of poems, Another Offering, is available from Finishing Line Press and her poetry collection Mother May I is available from Sibling Rivalry Press. To learn more about Tina, visit


June 4, 1981

I held a flashlight under my chin
Called my friends to the bathroom
We stood in front of the mirror

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Nothing but our faces
Laughing back at us


February 3, 2015

Go on
Say it now

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

You had your eyes closed

Please don’t

Do it again

Don’t make me

This time ask me


Ask me about the baby

I can’t


February 5, 2015

Bloody Mary               false

Pregnancy                                       or

 Bloody Mary              mis


Bloody Mary can you bring

My baby back


February 6, 2015

I load and unload the dishwasher. I make the beds and turn off the nightlights. I turn the nightlights on and fold down the beds, but it takes too long for my shadow to leave the room.

February 10, 2015

Today I found her hair
clotted with blood
in the bathroom sink
her period panties
in the tub
I wonder how she finds
her way out to use my facilities
has she noticed
the new hand towels, the freshly bleached

I hope she’ll pitch in
perhaps I’ll leave a list

Bloody Mary load dishwasher

Bloody Mary put clothes in dryer

Bloody Mary dump bits of food clogging the kitchen strainer

her soiled bandages overflow
the trash as I lift the bag
I’m sure I see her shadow pass behind me


February 17, 2015

I see her
in every
I see her
in every shard
of broken glass


February 25, 2015

It was a rough night
I felt so fat in my body
The heat ran and ran all night
I worried the pipes would freeze
But I knew it would not be long
Until Mary called for me

© Tina Parker

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