in the woods (a poem)

I think that I wrote this in 2007, or 08. I’ve been going through most of what I’ve written to see exactly what belongs in the book, and what does not.

In the Woods


My husband collects shotguns.

No, I don’t wanna look at pictures of your friend’s baby.

In the gray day he oils his steel

while I stand barefoot waiting.


We live in the forest

and I think I need a haircut,

and I’m bored and too young

for this.


(It’s all about priorities, I tell him

and options, I pace)

I’m like a supernova in and of myself

(he can’t take it)


He was running the water,

he didn’t hear.  It’s okay, I shrug,

breaking an egg into a bowl.

Twin yolks.


Your friend and her baby

make me feel like regret.


I never got out of the woods.

Sister, don’t get locked up like me

in some shotgun wedding.

Sister, your sleeting city has forests too


and linoleum-peeling houses, dim,

with him in workboots, stereo blaring metal

(no, I mean like dark metal)

him cleaning the barrel, oiling his piece,


and always he has a wife,

barefoot & full o’ firecrackers,

who pushes all his buttons, whining with her headaches

(“Turn the music down!”)


I tell you, sister, even where you come from

there are houses with guns

and women with holes in their hearts

who can’t look at everybody’s goddamn baby

without tears puckering,

he doesn’t even know she’s on the pill.


He sits in the kitchen, oiling steel.


(Copyright 2007, Jessica James)



  1. reneeavardatcafs · April 11, 2014

    This is incredibly awesome! And inspiring.

    • Jess Morrow · April 13, 2014

      THANK YOU so much, Renee. p.s I love your article in the new Wild Sister. xo

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