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by Angela Stevens

And so I became less of a delicate flower,
my petals slowly grew a violent purple

My Grandfathers hands rested on my back,
I was grateful that he hadn’t try to ring me out
as Mother had.

Room drenched in sepia, he was
right before he left; this century
is getting sicker, heaving and swelling
Ready to drop out a gnarled creature
And claim it fondly as redemption.

my parents communicate through the
saucepan over boiling, hinges stopping
sudden on the cupboard doors, there
was a 'a' in my name where a 'g' should
have gone, in their quarrels they forgot
to close the door, I’ve never been
innocence before, at least they gave you
13 little years to carry with you, I had mine
minus ten but never grew up, I’ve faulted
at being an adult & now everything passes
me by.

Nobody polluted me; I polluted myself,
Being a dirty three year old, drool
dripping from mouth, I asked for every
piece of punishment; the sting on the backs
of my legs, holding jars with a captured wasp
to my cheeks just hoping they would sting, the
letter always appears backwards like a fixed
joke, you have a title now, a chance at some
communication, only it isn’t as easy but I know
the answer: if only I were born a boy, right?

I can’t help but shuddered in this dim light,
Pain, for me, has always been about exchange.


Author's Note: I actually get on well with my Mum and Dad but will NEVER make the same mistakes with a child.

Posted on 05/15/2012
Copyright © 2024 Angela Stevens

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by LK Barrett on 05/17/12 at 11:54 AM

Holding opposing feelings simultaneously about a single experience is part of becoming who we truly are-because very very few things are simple. My appreciation of this is one of them. TY.

Posted by Dane Campbell on 08/07/12 at 07:23 PM

I find the final line--"Pain, for me, has always been about exchange"--to ring particularly true. Well done.

Posted by George Hoerner on 05/20/13 at 10:46 PM

As some famous person once said, "a rose by any other name stills smells......

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