Thursday, November 10, 2016

For Androcles

There is no pissed-off girl who came out of the cradle swinging.
We all lie there at first,
blue-eyed and trustful, waiting for the big milk payday.

There's no pissed-off woman like a disappointed woman,
and by the time you met me I was
past all concern, 
wearing the same old barbed-wire bathrobe from one noon to the next.

You wisely sent your envoy first,
someone sweet and old-friendy who would make me hesitate
and hold my tongue, wondering if I knew her from somewhere, or what.

Come with me, she said.
Bring your tongue, your thorny tongue,
but bring it sleeping, curled up and barely bleeding, at least for now.

She brought me to meet you and you were the one;
the one who took the thorn from my tongue,
the lion from my tongue,
and soothed it with the cold calm of your thrillingly assured blankness.

I did not forget. Did you think I would?
Months later, led into the arena of your careless lying bullshit,
I called bullshit for what it was, turned my back on you, but to this day

I am not the same pissed-off girl,
not angry in the same way,
not hungry in the same way,
and so I am grateful, as you should be, for having had the love of a lion

however briefly.
______

for Fireblossom Friday at Real Toads. photo: Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil.

13 comments:

hedgewitch said...

'Bring your tongue, your thorny tongue,
but bring it sleeping, curled up and barely bleeding...'

sigh. This has the feel of something hammered out quickly, but that only seems to give it more bite and authenticity. (I also love 'barb-wire bathrobe' and 'old-friendy' --forgive all the quotes.) No one comes out swinging from the cradle--it takes getting sucker-punched a few times first. Great ending.

Sioux said...

The last two lines, and the "barbed-wire bathrobe" bit are beyond brilliant.

grapeling said...

no one writes these like you, Shay ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

Love and love's loss... the marrow and the bones of my favourite kind of poetry.

Kim Russell said...

As a pissed off woman, I really relate to this!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

As always, you write lines no one but you could imagine, the thorny tongue, the barbed wire bathrobe, the never again being the same pissed-off girl. While love rips us limb from limb in the losing of it, I suppose we must be grateful for having experienced it, at least once, with The One.

blueoran said...

She who wears barbed wire bathroom to pajamorama will always appreciate the claw in the paw. How can the poems not be forever fierce?

Susie Clevenger said...

Life can birth a lion and then steal its teeth. This hits me deep in my gut where anger doesn't want to be euthanized by forgiveness. I am grateful for poetry. It waits until the right nerve is hit and I can release the wild through words. Thanks of always bringing such creative words/insight to you poetry.

Jim said...

Wonderful for me, Shay. Besides getting to see what the 'promptor' has written, I was introduced to GBS's Androcles and the Lion. We didn't read that one in the country school. I did enjoy Pygmalion much.
So after knowing the story, I was to enjoy your ending best of all. I suppose lion 'tamers' have a similar love relationship. I feel dogs and their owners do.
An aside, do you think Shaw had a thing for lions, he did invent the name Pygma"lion" and wrote The Mil"lion"airess and Buoyant Bil"lion"s. Was he playing with a word for us to find?
..

Mama Zen said...

"wearing the same old barbed-wire bathrobe from one noon to the next."

That is so brilliant, perfect, and absolutely, uniquely you.

angieinspired said...

i'm enjoying what i believe to be an autobiographical piece. that's the best kind anyway

said...

I am in awe of every carefully crafted description you've created. The opening, in particular, touches me personally, both as a child and as a mother. We're all damaged people raising more damaged people. How can the world be anything but damaged?

The third stanza, about sending someone "sweet and old-friendly" ... those who are hard and guarded don't trust many, if any, so this was key in the development of this relationship.

This is insanely good:
"Bring your tongue, your thorny tongue,
but bring it sleeping"

(The girl in that picture looks so much like Soleil Moon-Frye ... grown-up Punky Brewster. The hands are fascinating. The pink ... it looks like skin, not gloves. It makes me think the statement of the piece is that she's been burned. Yet still, she's wearing that smirk and deep, dark, soulful eyes that tell me she cannot be destroyed.)

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Like all great art, you take the idiosyncratic and make it universal, and take the commonplace and make it shine one of a kind. Loved this. La la Mosk