Two Poems by Sara Hovda

May 15, 2023

Prayer of Thanksgiving


My now is so merciful:

Now the split and shiver
has settled between my legs.

Now the little blue pill is all
I need to swallow.

Now the wind brushes the bottom
of my tits after a hot morning.

Nature forgave the loan of boyhood.
Now I’m whole.


Someone retcon my childhood,
and the story will be perfect, a stone
the pink of my lip gloss.

No one would know anymore
there was boyhood
except that it happened.

And those who remember
speak of it only in hushed tones,
curse that it was.

But it had to happen, didn’t it,
for the world to open
like a handwritten card
instead of some premade
Hallmark line.
I have to love you too,

don’t I? Your unbearable weight
like a bag of groceries
I can barely anymore lift on my own.


I know it’s not sensible
to expect my father’s love
to have been immutable,

but I pretend sometimes
his understanding of the spectrum
of gender, the blunder

of my assignment, and my need
to swallow these pills.
Whatever pulls me forward

despite his absence, I don’t know,
and I don’t know what keeps me
asking for his acceptance,

but tonight, when the clock
strikes its darkling hour
and the neighborhood dogs

have tired themselves of barking
and all the cars in their driveways
have fallen asleep, maybe

I can hear his voice again,
even if he just says no.

About Sara Hovda

Sara Hovda is a transgender woman living in Minnesota where she works as a freelance writer and editor. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines such as Frontier Poetry, Nimrod, and Nashville Review, among others.