How to Raise a Shoplifter

︎︎︎︎︎ Sofie Wise

︎ July 30, 2023

Heart stretched,
muscle seeping
through ribs
like one of those balls
at the toy store
that oozes out
onto your fingers,
soft rubber coating
desperate skin,
a sticky purple secret
swiped from the bottom shelf
because life was like that,
hands stuck to arms
too short to grasp anything
except dad’s word,
mushy insides plucked
when he couldn’t see,
a pinched, fleeting reality
until he came around
the goo snapped back
survival looking like
good girl, not yet
take that.

Sofie Wise is a writer. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Hobart, HAD, Rejection Letters, and more.