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fabric of her soul - poetry by M.M. Odom

Updated: Jun 21

before she was ripped from her life,

leah herman wore a blue

dress from her grandmother

frills and tiny yellow flowers


these yellow flowers sharpened into yellow stars

what she had once loved and called her own

sliced at her throat


in winter they came

spat at her stars

told her to pack her clothes, her life

in a little suitcase


the fabric of her soul

worn to threads, torn to threads

stripped away until there was nothing left

not even a suitcase

she stood in the cold, freezing from fear

naked heart left to get frostbite

fingers blue

like the hue of her long gone dress


dignity degraded

to dresses that itched and shoes that didn’t fit

meant for someone who was now somewhere else

given to someone who would be there soon


she wore nothing but dirt

and a layer of her own blood

they wore haunting shadows

all that separated her from them was

uniforms that made them more than human

nakedness that made her so much less



M.M. Odom is a 17 year old writer and performer. Her work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, the Blank Theatre, and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. Her plays have appeared in the Writopia Worldwide Plays Festival, O’ahu Fringe Festival, Hawai’i Women's Voices Festival, and Playbuilders Playfestival. Her poetry can be found in various literary journals and anthologies, including Polyphony Lit, Inlandia Journal, and Navigating the Maze. She is the 2019 Hawai’i State Champion and a National Finalist for Poetry Out Loud.

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