Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finding the Time

Turns out it's not that hard to find the time to write. My girls babysit for the neighbors four hours a week. If I don't mind being a rubbish mother and sending Snowy off to watch TV in my room, I can have half a day a week to write.

Turns out the hard bit is how selfish you get when you start to write. How you don't really care about anything but a line, an image, the rhythm of the poem. The things you take pleasure in as a mother disappear; the meal on the table, the story read cuddled up in bed, the sound of girls dancing and laughing.

Who is this mother, with her drafts and her mutterings, her eagles and her apes ?

from Zoo

1. It is difficult to hold
His gaze, my silver-back
Slave, melancholy; tester
Of my white pills, bitter,
On the tongue and in the brain.
Heart and lung; my drugged breath
Breaking open the sac of my disease;
His heart a loop of film. Electrodes.
The children kept from their mothers,
Caged. The loop a bracelet worn into him
Like rope, scars on the skin of his wrist,
His neck; the places he was tethered by
Or led by. How much does he remember
Of life outside the camps ?

I am wheat and braid,
I am wrapped in the Reich-flag.
I will never burn for him.

2. Your death over you, small
Mammal in the shadow of
Muscle and talon descending.
Dressed in your puppeteer’s black
You think you hold the hunter’s strings.
When the eagle no longer frightens you
That is your adulthood. Within it
You find something broken,
Summer-brittle as prairie bone.

Find more Poetry Friday here.


  1. Oh wow, Melissa. I am deeply moved by this poem and leaves me thirsty for more. Where can we find the rest of the poem?

  2. Thanks for your kind words! I'm afraid the rest of the poem is still incubating :) I'll link again when it's done though.