Poetry Trauma

They Made Me by Maria Picone

go to the darkened room to perform my trauma,

no warning, threatening to expel me if I refused.


feel small, a tiny mote of protest swirling in a vast

maelstrom, arms bound by this mandatory evaluation.


risk my scholarship on a one-afternoon “fitness” test

a run without screaming, a gauntlet without swords


present myself red eyes bound hands to the bored

professional who took one look, said “You’re probably fine.”


This is not a big deal.


pull my bones from the wash cycle, proclaiming

I was normal, then I was not. Okay.

Picone Headshot

Maria S. Picone has an MFA from Goddard College. She’s interested in hybrid and experimental forms as well as free verse. Her hobbies are learning languages, looking at cats on the internet, and painting. Her poetry appears in Mineral Lit Mag, Ariel Chart, and Eleventh Transmission: 45 Poems of Protest. Her Twitter is @mspicone, and her website is