Brat in the garden of eden / emily lake hansen

It got wild by accident - the clover

and crabgrass and dandelions growing

without permission. Our sons tiptoe

among them, maneuvering around

miniature strawberries we didn’t plant.

Watch out for their red heads!

they scream in a cloud of laughter

and marvel. Each Sunday, we mean to chop

it down, to trudge the neighbor’s borrowed

mower through our monster grass. We wanted

it to be clean and sparse - we like rules,

we drank at 21 in measured sips, you

a dark whiskey, me a red wine because

wasn’t I a lady? But the clover is so tall

it’s flowered now, fluffy white heads we pick

sometimes and place in slender vases

around the house. How do I explain

that the word home hurts when I read it

and that sometimes I imagine our yard

as Maleficent’s magnificent fortress? Inside

we are safe enough to possess evil.

Emily Lake Hansen is the author of the chapbook The Way the Body Had to Travel (dancing girl press). Her work has appeared in Nightjar Review, The McNeese Review, Stirring, and Atticus Review among others. She currently writes, teaches, and plays too many children's board games in Atlanta.