Monday, August 28, 2006


Tattered hair, in oily seep
along ever more sloping shoulders,
cap slumping to one side
as if Mother
has gone sloppy, no longer
giving a damn. Hell with this.
And why shouldn’t she shrug?
Worn to the nub, a faltering fatigue,
cracked spine, scarred hands, knotted joints,
a gimp in one hip, once so elegantly
swayed, rocking to the tide.
And we, her simpering brood,
once believed Atlases, proved to be slugs.
Heedless parasites, we suckled her
dry, a litter of squalling ticks pressing her
empty, leeching her anemic, crushing her bones
to dust and ash, our burgeoning
weight an unrelenting burden.
We roll, fat and bawling,
in her lap, at her feet, tugging at her skirts,
even now clinging in high pitched whines,
warring for her ultimate sacrifice:
a mother’s slow death for her offspring
of boundless appetite.