Are you my mother?

—cried the hatchling,
beginning to exhibit seeking behavior.
Its mother gone silent because father—

Was I, tongue-dry, just dreaming that time
she pledged to leave me at the train station
if I darted quick for the water fountain?

He pronounced me dead in the punishment of
banishment, declared they would all refuse my
help-calls, celebrate my anguish, reject every
pledge to crawl home from my cesspool mind
to their living room corner and copy/re-copy
2nd Peter-something during their Sunday lunch
and afternoon rest.

But he finally agreed to re-family me through
belt-beatings before bedtime, my panties down
in front of all-younger siblings, to embarrass me,
said he, for how I will always embarrass them.


“024” by Kevin Ryder is licensed under CC0 1.0

Catherine Zickgraf

Catherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities—yet homeschooling her autistic youngest inspires her the most. Her writing has appeared in Journal of the American Medical Association, [Pank], Victorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries.

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