“And Kidsley Divey, Too” by Laura Lee Washburn

Issue 18 / Summer 2019 / Abortion Ban Protest Special Issue

Lilliebelle, 1920-1935

Mairsy dotes and dosey dotes and little
lambsy divey.  Lilliebelle is underground.  We
keep her under ivy.  The hired hand
was like a man and fondled her forever.

The hired man had lots of hands and
Lillbelle’s under ivy.
Her mother wrenched her by the arm.  Her
mother slapped her daughter.  The hired man
said that’s ok and Lillbelle’s under ivy.

Mairsy dotes and dosey dotes and little
lambsy divey.  The doctor cut and some just bleed
and bleed without hospital helpers.
We legislate her underground.  We keep
her under ivy.  Lillibelle went to the ground
and left her name behind her.


Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Poet Lore, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and Missouri. She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.

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