MUSED
BellaOnline Literary Review
The Stairway by Debi Gardiner

Poetry


Defilement

Louis Gallo

Im sitting on a bench outside Big Lots
waiting for Cathy and the girls to pick me up,
an uneventful shopping spree for me
so Im empty-handed as Irene batters Norfolk
and already millions without power on the coast
and eight dead . . .
Im not paying attention to much, just zoning out
a bit in this stagnant, fetid air, watching folks
come and go, and soon I hear a screech
which at first I mistook for a girl or woman
but turns out to be this tyke, a boy of about four
tugged by his mother to their van
which has pulled up almost directly in front
of me . . . it sounds like mayhem for the boy
and hes drenched in something sticky and wet
and altogether disgusting. "What is happening to me?"
he wails. "What is it? What is it?" Hes spread his arms
away from his body and flicks off the muck
with terrified passion. "What is it? What is it?"
The mother says calmly, sweetly, "You threw up
on yourself, thats all," and the boy howls, "Why?
Why? Why? What is it? Clean me, Mommy!"
She begins removing his shirt and, in an attempt to soothe,
says, "Youre sick, you threw up, its nothing."
"Oh, why, why, why am I sick? Help! Help!"
The mothers eye catches mine as she removes
his shorts, and I smile in sympathy, for I too
have been spewed upon by my own children,
and she smiles as if to say "Fun, eh?"
And the boy shrieks, jumps up and down, punches
at his own body: "What is it? What is it?"
As if no answer suffices, as if to say,
nothing can explain such desecration and defilement
and the only option is to scream in anguish
because the answers, so soothing, so gentle,
lack conviction, because reason has failed,
because the horror of what can become of us
has raised its flag in the very mulch of innocence.



Add Mused Literary Review to Twitter Add Mused Literary Review to Facebook Add Mused Literary Review to MySpace Add Mused Literary Review to Del.icio.us Digg Mused Literary Review Add Mused Literary Review to Yahoo My Web Add Mused Literary Review to Google Bookmarks Add Mused Literary Review to Stumbleupon Add Mused Literary Review to Reddit




What Do You Think?

Your Email Address: (kept private of course)


Your First Name: (pseudonym is fine)


Your Comment:


Are You Human?


What is the sum of 3 + 4?





Reader Feedback:
There is no feedback yet for this piece! Be the first to share your thoughts on it!

Spring Equinox 2012 Table of Contents