Suzanne O'Connell | Poet

My Little Hand



I grew my skin myself.

My mother—she didn’t play fair.

She was a stack of charred papers.

My daddy was a floating head in front,

hands on the wheel,

while mother re-applied

her lipstick.


There was something alarming

that I couldn’t name.

On my birth certificate, I was named

as my own mother.

A real switheroo!

But, I wasn’t laughing.


I took my little hand and showed myself


This is what mothers do after all!

They point and say tree.

They point and say shoe.

They point and say, be careful, red light.


I pointed with my own little finger.

I taught myself to spit gasoline

and to smell the smell.

I kissed mortal sin.

I kissed mortal combat.

I kissed my Uncle John’s blind eyes.


I wandered around my town,

pointing at things,

teaching myself,

and holding my own little hand

while I crossed the busy streets.



Published by Silver Birch Press, Spring, 2015


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