Monday, April 29, 2013

Tuesday Poem - we are farmed out by Jennifer Compton

we are farmed out

the eau-de-nil cabbage cooling on the plate
the towering aunt with the voice like a shriek
the good child gets sent to the worst place

she doesn't give a backward look when her distracted
father drops her and drives off—she has been told to
be good and she has learned very well how to be that

the big boy locking his sister in the wardrobe
she screamed and she screamed and everyone
got smacked and shrilled up and down the hall

like a flock of angry birds with glittering eyes and sharp beaks
and the cabbage—again—and diarrhoea mince and the spuds
with black tadpole eyes and then the horror of shampoo night

wrenched backwards over the bath like a sacrifice
the amber bar of soap wielded like a flame-thrower
I could hardly open my stinging geranium-red eyes

and after all that goodness, no baby sister, she died
it was home to a sad mother and a drinking father
or maybe I had become a noticing kind of child



  1. A very sad poem, but incredibly honest. I feel privileged to read it.

  2. It's very vivid as if stamped on the memory forever...a sudden change in the barometer of childhood. It is sad and also very human. Thanks Jen.