Sunday, December 25, 2011


I know how to sing for my supper.
Close your eyes and do it earnest.

When we could not make the rent,
Mama sent me down the block
to beg the foul-tempered landlord
for just a few days more. I went
to school with his granddaughter,
and by the time I reached his ivied porch
Mama knew I would be wheezing.

Honour your people, stay alive
but rip out every seedling they left
and hold it up to the sun.
Scorched earth is fertile.
And find a companion
who can tell when you are
leaking shame into your bloodstream.

© Maggie Jochild, written 25 December 2011, 10:35 p.m.

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