Skip to content

The Game

Mommy said I had to wear
the red turtleneck, Aunt Laura’s gift,
tarantula legs wrapping round my throat.
It was Davy’s second birthday,
and I was four. This is the game
I have to play. Fuzzy scarlet fingers
pressing into my pulse point
killer Elmo static up and down
my arms I screamed get off get off!
She marched me upstairs Mommy
I screamed get off she lifted me
into the shower get off get off!
The turtleneck crawled up toward my ears
squeezed my esophagus I screamed
and sobbed the icy water
blasted into my face with a shriek
she would not let me out!
This is the game I have to play
small selfish sinner I did
shut up at last spun out thin
from shock and dripping and
“In conclusion,” she said,
“you could have stopped your tantrum
any time you wanted to.”
In the photos I am wearing
a party hat.
I did not have cake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *