sarah A. ettinger

Sarah A. Etlinger is an English professor who lives in Milwaukee, WI with her family. Her work can be found in journals such as The Magnolia Review, The Penwood Review, and Little Rose Magazine, among others. Aside from poetry, interests include cooking, music, and travel. 


an act of god (or, #Metoo)

Ettinger God.jpg


I saw God on the subway today.
At first, I didn’t recognize him,
because he wore a gray suit
with a crisp shirt and tie.
But then I saw
the label on his briefcase
and the black licorice smile of his eyes.

He saw me
and put his hands
on my breast
to inspect what he had created
and he saw that it was good.


The Harem


Ettinger Harem.jpg

Your sister’s dolls
seemed to wait,
teetering on the shelf
for your nimble fingers
and eager stare
with a grin puffing up your cheeks.

They were so prim
in calico dresses
and lace, smiling saucer eyes
and blushing cheeks;
ready to fulfill their roles.

They let you do it.
your deft fingers slide up
their legs, a swift flick
and they are upside down,
one by one, legs splayed.

They never protested
(even though sometimes you wished they did).
They never cried out,
even when your sister shrieked,
finding them like that.
They kept your secret.

They kept right on smiling,
your harem of dolls.