"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



There was a birdbath in his yard   My taciturn uncle’s   It was

among the most magical totems of childhood  Ditto  my mother’s

hairbrush   200 strokes each night   Rapunzel-like hair  down to

there   Uncoiled from bun   Spun golden brown


Unlike Rapunzel  no princely suitors   No gentleman callers  climbing

Rather locked away   In a place of suburban decay:  a plaza  a school

+a pile of plump nouveau riche wives   Sans the luminous hair


At the base of the birdbath lived a toad   Tiny  +bewarted    I loved it

passionately    And did not exactly kill it   Just played with it to death

My own hands bewarted over time   These days I am not as partial to

frogs   Even my young cousin had a run in   His with an amphibian herd

On a slick rural road


There were hundreds of them  +it was pouring  +the car was thumping

Over them  +through them   Frog-matter everywhere!   Windshield + hair


Today I sit at a birdbath of sorts  secret garden U of T   Lawns emerald green

Squirrels shifty   One eyes me hungrily  as men on rooftops used to do   There

are 2 Canada geese  I feel unkindly towards them immediately    +cast unholy

aspersions with a kicking motion   The larger of the 2  squawks apocalyptically


He grabs the hem of  H+M dress  +nearly rips it off of me   With this I

become murderous  wrapping fingers around a throat  so smooth +iridescent

I am reminded of the womb    Where the sound of brushing  entered psyche

Mother-goddess metronome  lulled me into trance  so what was coming wouldn’t

hurt as much   Except it did







I once worked with a 7 yr. old girl   Her mother a deaf mute

Ran away when she was 3  +her most vivid memory  a hair

brushing ritual before bed   For 2 years much of therapy

consisted of silently brushing her hair  And keeping her from

assaulting me   She + I  counter transferentially  returning the

world’s lost mothers to daughters open arms + gnashing teeth

It would be a long long recovery



Heal the patient, heal the world   C.G. Jung


Mother’s Day 🌸   2018

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