Sunday, January 18, 2015

my mother always took us to this farm, on the west side, past the corn and 
down the road that is far too empty for 
speed limit signs or painted yellow 
lines- 
no need, waste of time. 
in the country, things that do not bring immediate life are
a waste of time. there is a farm 
on Whittier Road
and five children pulling my mother's hands 
in all different directions-

my brothers let cows lick their miniature palms and giggled, leaned away with awe,
we had never seen an 
uninhibited tongue before. i stand away, uncomfortable; it is too close, too lifelike. 
50 cents for the machine- i liked to feed the chickens instead, 
throw the kernels far from my feet and watch, i could observe my contribution,
sustain them without sacrificing 
any of my space, my trust that i wouldn't be bitten 
or reimbursed.

i was left with empty fists in 3 minutes.
i couldn't stand to pace it out, couldn't wait 
to give my compassion away, couldn't throw 
my empathy fast enough.
me, i am the kindest, i keep my violence close to my chest, 
you will never have to see it, 
me, i am the kindest child. i deserve the kernels of your compassion 
most.

i like to nurture,
like to feed.
my mother taught me to give kernels of myself 
two feet away or
i would be bitten by the absence of gratitude.
my mother gave me 
a messiah complex and 50 cents for the feed machine. 
i am learning to conserve my tenderness now,
learning to show an uninhibited tongue.

it is not a waste of time to paint yellow 
lines on yourself.


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