Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Step Parent (choir)

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You are the child of my beloved.

I, the interloper in the land,
the one who parachuted
into the country of your bliss.

The past's gangrene,
the festering,
your sorry haircut,
the jungle of your bedroom.
Be gone, child. Be grown.

How do we talk about the windstorm in the room?
Who can claim a rounder stake?

I am the one that poisons the apple,
the one that gives the child
to the woodsman for murder.

Your nightmares wrench the one I love
from our bed, stays gone
the entire steel length of the night.
My skin reeks of dawn.

Be gone. Be grown. Be this the time
when the world in all its greenness
calls your name sweetly and you heed.
Be gone. Be grown.

In an endless scroll you pencil
the list of my perfidies.
Oh, the way the sun turns me into
dark wood. The clamp
of my footsteps. What else?
The dire shale of my eyes.

Let us tear the one we both
love limb by limb apart.
Let us accuse in silence.
Let us punish.

I shall give your father three,
four more children. All lovely
and perfect like pinecones.

I shall spin your mother
in an unending waltzing blur.
It will never stop, her bliss.

Pack up your needs tight,
child, wrap them in brown paper.
How many tears will we be allowed?

There is only so much air.
You breathe excessively.
Be grown, child. Be gone. Soon.

Let us asphyxiate the one we
both adore. Report my careful
invisible cruelties.
I'll say you wish me plague.

Before you, I didn't know how
seams of coal traversed me.
Such chasms you have brought.

Listen, when the wars come
I'll feed only my own and you
shall go hungry. Whose are
you, again?

In the mine of this place,
in the ours of red love,
your belongings strewn. Those,
your huge, odious shoes.

When I am a husk and you glisten
like a newly-minted god,
deny me pity or blanket.

Tell your men that the pigs
can have me. Be done
with stories.

Lorraine Healy is an Argentinean poet and photographer living on Whidbey Island, Washington. The winner of several national awards, including a Pushcart Prize nomination for 2004, she has been published extensively. She holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from New England College, New Hampshire. She is the author of The Farthest South (New American Press) and The Archipelago (Finishing Line Press).

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