Villanelle For the Female future


Leah Scher, Brandeis University '19

This month another girl went folding

Like an origami shuriken

’Til she became a small enough plaything.


She said lately her core’s been leaving her wondering

How it learned to bend for that long, that far,

And if there are others each month who also go folding.


Last month one shed two linings, silver & red. A wellspring,

They said. Bleeding out, she said. A pain that likes to mar

Her posture as she doubles over into a small enough plaything.


Look now, she’s regrown, and again, she’s undoing.

A sigh for her timing, and other murmurs of those from afar

Who think a girl can’t hear when she goes folding.


All come done & undone like this, letting out everything

That’s in until they’re no longer women. These war-

Torn veterans, once small enough playthings.


Next month I want to catch a girl stargazing

So I can point out the moon & how similar they look.

She should try one month turning and not folding.

She looks so tired from only ever shrinking.