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The Moon Won’t Be Dared

Poems by Anne Leigh Parrish | Published by Unsolicited Press
Praise for The Moon Won't Be Dared

Anne Leigh Parrish’s poems in The Moon Won’t Be Dared are an extended meditation that weaves through time and humanity, injustices and struggles, but with an eye towards love and beauty. These captivating poems carry an underlining ache of loss—past and future—but they are grounded in the present, in beetle and spider, in river and forest, in the windows that look into the yard. Parrish writes we can only burn slowly over time, and we see this book is full of light—fire, streetlight, smokelight, garden light, twilight, starlight, and in fact, darkness/becomes light when the world bears us/along. This is a voice willing to convey what isn’t working in the world, but also to always acknowledge what is—a child of the night/who lived on moonlight and cold sparkle stars. Parrish’s poems feed us, and they will hold us long enough/to tinge the dawn with hope.—Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Dialogues with Rising Tides (Copper Canyon Press)

Excerpt from The Moon Won't Be Dared

“a survey of the female experience” 


 the rib never fit

and the apple had worms

fig leaves are for fools shaming the

triangle of life


caves sheltered as long as you brought

down your share, felled by points you

chiseled by the hour, in between

sewing skins and putting the baby

to your breast—

migrations, snow, death

seeds sown, crops harvested



learn to read, get the vote, work on the floor

with a glass ceiling

are told you are unreliable, emotional, a false accuser

when your boss grabs your ass



want to go on the pill, and your doctor

looks at your ringless left hand, then says no—



get an abortion to free yourself of a burden you

cannot carry, given you by a man who

lied, stole, cheated



live in a country where the ruling party

wants to own your womb

it’s their right, they say, because

they know so much better  


you will never:

go back

accept cruelty as fate

apologize for the drive of your sex

close your eyes to their blindness

Illustration by Lydia Selk