Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the bullies and the breasts

my son has leapt from my womb
I wish I could push him back in
but he is twelve years old and
is slouched on the bathroom
chair punishing his cuticles
and picking the already
scaly quicks back
to their roots

I have leapt from my womb
to his fingertips and want
to suckle them so
that I may calm
his biting into
a more
subtle
pain

but he is unsteadily staking the constant
alternate hands into the mouth
route and the chair is too
closely surrounded by
corners by towels by
chrome is shaking
crying where dry

could be. It has taken me
fifty five minutes or thereabouts
to prise names from him and how
many of them laid about him, girls
and a disproportionate number of blows. Boys
too, ten or twelve, not by age but by gang size
on the field where no one saw but everyone watched

his skin is cracked like useless grout and tiles
soak up his sobs as I should but he is
sixty minutes older than he was
and nothing warm
stirs to help us
and some-
thing

drips makes contact breaks
the moment if I were
anyone else I would
clout them bang
their heads
together
shout
fucking murderers!

but my son has leapt from my womb
and is saying please leave it
please drop it and his sister
is now yelling at me my
daughter fourteen
going on twenty
three holds him
by the hand

and gently tells
him his manhood
where he discovers
beans already spilled
the entire story broken out
of his quivering pout and somehow
the kettle is boiling and the truth

a temporary balm
and we are in the kitchen
swapping prospects trading fallout
I tout spoonfuls make tea take stock
Emma Harry Katy Daisy and anonymous
others swim before us pleading their chances in ripples
of steam and I am fifty going on seventy but even after this bad dream
shall always be able to feed from the nipples

3 comments:

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Sheila Murphy said...

Painfully strong. I appreciate this poem.

Pris said...

Unusual and good!