What you gave me made me unwholesome.

As I learned how to walk you taught me how to fall.

And commit to you.

My undoer.


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)


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