ANNA IS GONE • by Heather Haigh

They tried not to notice my voice was too loud at the funeral. I’m the quiet one.
My skirt was too short. I’m the modest one.

They admonished me quietly when I got detention but I saw the panic in their eyes.
Their whispers scratched the silence when I burned my journal.

I can almost dance like Anna, glare like Anna, pout like Anna. I kissed Johnny. Anna wouldn’t mind. Anna never minded.
Johnny showed me his cock. Said my touch was softer. Took longer. Like my eyeliner. Like ripping my jeans till the gashes gape like screaming mouths. Like braving the blade. She’s carved into my flesh now.
Anna isn’t gone.

Heather Haigh is a disabled, working-class writer, from Yorkshire. She discovered writing late in life and uses it to explore, understand, challenge, and celebrate the new life it has given her.

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