What you gave me made me unwholesome.
As I learned how to walk you taught me how to fall.
And commit to you.
I pick myself up off the floor.
There I lay, on the fibres of the unclean carpet.
And you danced out your charade on my skin, unfolded.
Haven’t you had enough to eat?
Your stomach’s full with what I need to survive.
I handed it to you as a child.
You will never give it back.
It is your never-ending cane.
Look at me in profile.
Your foot on my chest.
The breath evading, the tongue hanging loose.
I am a girl in this world.
I force my way onto the ladder.
You decorated me with plenty of weight.
And as I sweat and run out of breath,
I still keep clawing, holding on to the upward movement,
Trying my best to climb and leave everything I learned from you behind.
“God Speed!” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912)