The Forest of Discarded Baby Girls

by Christina Sng

 
No man dares enter
The forest of discarded baby girls
After sundown in the dead of night.
 
The winds howl
When another girl is left behind,
Always at the edge of the forest
 
By her father 
And weeping mother,
At knifepoint, by the elders.

Any mother who refuses 
Is stabbed repeatedly
Till she falls,

Twisting her body to land
On her back, daughter cushioned
Safely on her chest.
 
Heart hollow, eyes dead, 
Her final thought:
Despair 

At failing her baby,
While her husband flees
From the forest

As their daughter
Is slowly fed 
To the ground.
 
        ***

The trees sway and weep
As the baby screams all night
Till day finally breaks
 
And her cry is cut short.
The forest has embraced her
As one of its own.
 
        ***
 
When they are grown,
The daughters return home,
Each strangling the man
 
Who discarded her at birth
With the winding branches
That emerge from her fingers.
 
Afterwards,
She burns his house down
And gathers the mothers
 
Back to the forest,
The only true place
They can call home.


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