Swans Commentary » swans.com March 13, 2006  



Mother May I


by Laura Madeline Wiseman





(Swans - March 13, 2006)  
What was thy pity's recompense? ~Byron

You've stood cowering in a corner of the basement.

A black fist mark blooming on the swell of your belly.

A fat lip shining and oozing a slim trail of blood.

You're naked and I can see the body's betrayal.

The hemorrhoids pushed out by an accidental pregnancy.

The unused and then overused ligaments hobbling you.

The disappointing, perpetual sag of all that is woman.

The pubic hair has grayed. The scabrous patches

where you kneel into the chains to ease your suffering.

How I want to bring you cotton garments and milk coffee,

show you to the shower to wash off these thirty years.

How mad you've become, been, and I pity this too.

That even as I hand you a sweater you scratch my arms

and poke out my eyeballs which only reignites my resolve.

I give you hiking pants and you yank my hair and punch

in my stomach only to pause momentarily on my breasts

and then kick each one all the while cawing and cooing.

This is my fault, I say, I'm sorry. Please don't be mad,

the rock below my lips piss stained and slick with feces.

You stomp on my face until I come to hating you

and say as much. And then you're whimpering again,

trying to smooth out the rosette bruises on your thigh.

He did this to me, you say, and this. And I can't say it

was three decades ago because I see how you're hurting.

Instead, I hand over socks and my own panties and bra

and hope this time you won't pick out my liver and eat it.


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Internal Resources


America the 'beautiful'


About the Author

Laura Madeline Wiseman is an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona. Her works have appeared in 13th Moon, The Comstock Review, Paper Street, and other publications. She is an editor for IntheFray and Empowerment4Women.



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This Edition's Internal Links

Slobodan Milosevic, 1941-2006: A Cursed, Blasted Statesman - Gilles d'Aymery

Totalitarianism Then And Now - Michael Doliner

The Insurgent Word: Information Environment - Gerard Donnelly Smith

Repeating Disaster - Deck Deckert

Rhetoric And Reality: Democracy And Hypocrisy - Philip Greenspan

Naqshbandi And Kohr - Milo Clark

Charles Porter: The Loss Of A Great Oregonian - George Beres

The Love Extortionists - Charles Marowitz

Dirt Places - Martin Murie

Blips #34 - From the Martian desk - Gilles d'Aymery

Letters to the Editor

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/lmwise03.html
Published March 13, 2006