Liberating Words: The Circle of Lies

The poems in our ongoing “Liberating Words” series were written in an interdisciplinary course for high school juniors at The Winsor School, an all-girls school in Boston, Mass. The course, “The Personal Is Political: An Interdisciplinary Look at Feminism,” is co-taught by Libby Parsley, a History teacher, and Susanna Ryan, an English teacher. The second unit of the course focuses on the history and literature of second-wave feminism—the women’s liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Students read a compilation of poems by women writers from that period and then wrote their own poems; the assignment asked them to represent an issue or problem they see as central to 21st-century women’s experience through the very personal genre of poetry.

The Circle of Lies
by Siri Kazilionis

In the fall
He ripped out her root
Snatched up her fruit
And dug out the hole

He made space for the next
Flipped through his almanac of sex
As his crop lay innocent in the road

He bought a new seed
And mounted His steed
And plowed down whatever was in His way

Soon there began to be snow
And the Man yelled, where’s my hoe
He could barely wait
The winter was too long

And His hose was stiff from the kink
His ego was about to sink
The current pulsing up against the sides

So the Man sped up the season
Skipped the rain without reason
the plant lay dry
barely getting by

And when the early spring came
The Man shoved into the soil
And He screamed
Are you fucking ready yet!?

He pushed His hand in deeper
And deeper
the seed was weak
But He was eager

You have everything you need! Blossom you fucking seed!

and when the plant seemed dry
He stuck It in deeper
He crushed the leaves
the seed grew weaker

He uncoiled his hose
And pulsed through his toes
and all along
the plant lay dying

Under the force
Under the horse
Under the hand
Under the hose

it wilted and browned
it lay dead in the ground

Every fall
He rips out their roots
Snatches up their fruits
And digs out some holes

He makes space for the next
Flips through his almanac of sex
As His crops lie, innocent, in the road

Siri Kazilionis is a junior at the Winsor School who is passionate about mental health in her community as well as creative writing.



Lia Kornmehl is a junior at the Winsor School who is passionate about jazz music, milk chocolate, and equal opportunities for women in the workplace.