by Irene McKinney
I wanted to walk without clothing
in the woods beside the creek,
and to come to the barn at night
and sleep beside the horses, curled
in the smell and scratch of hay
with the bitch and pups.
The life of the house was flat,
filled with monotonous talking,
passing to and fro among the rooms,
and for what. My mother hated
animals, the way they ate the
food and dirtied the floor.
They were her enemies; she fought
their right to be there and
would have wiped them off the earth
if she could have. If a cat or a dog
came too close to the back door she
threw scalding water on it, and
was righteous in her anger, shouting
that they were not human and
didn't feel real pain.
If we must choose sides, I said
as a child, I take
the side of the animals.
LISTENING TO: Sibelius, Valse Triste, Opus 44, Lento, conducted by Leonard Bernstein
SANG IN SHOWER: Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” (gotta get away from this day to day running around. Everybody knows this is nowhere.)
SELECTED SPAM: Keep your woman happy. Get a vibrating ring.