Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Curious George Flees Over the Prison Wall

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for D, adopted at 7 months

And then he was lucky to be a monkey: out he walked on to the
telephone wires. Quickly and quietly over the guard's head, George
walked away. He was free!
-- H.A. Rey

In the blue chair all afternoon
you tap wet skin on my left
wrist. What hurts

is your trust, rubbing its clotted
breath on my cheek, its damp thumbs
on my thumbs at the page's edge.

Tender hair, small sick
bones: it's unfair
to read you this story. No one

is ever lucky
to be a monkey. You will tire
of men in yellow hats

staring up at you from under
traffic lights. You will wonder
more and more

about the sack, its plain weave and close
scratch, how you let
yourself be carried that whole

winding way from the first tree,
the one that filled you
with yellow fruit. In the next book

a chimp's head tips
to sudden clouds. Sad
you say, at two unswayed

by a thin smile
and puckered chin. In an hour
you will escape to fevered sleep

in my lap. You will raise
your head once and cry George!
and lie back down as if

my body were not a warm
sack, a crooked path,
a desperate story.


Sally Rosen Kindred is a mother of two boys and author of Garnet Lanterns, winner of the 2005 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Contest. She received a 2007 Maryland State Arts Council Artist Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Passages North, and Spoon River Poetry Review, and her poem “American Sweetgum” was runner-up for Ruminate’s 2008 Janet McCabe Poetry Prize.


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