Giving Up The Goat
Mama learned me scarper brittle edges,
trip-trap soft on clefties.
Papa learned me lean - lean in to rock,
follow, follow, follow.
Me learn nifty - sidestep cracks and rifties.
Me learn no graze bitter-bitter trampled raze,
me reach-reach high, browse ledges,
learn munch. Me grow little nubs, me grow brave,
grow life, learn give-give-bend, earn reach.
Me teach kids four-feet-fend.
Then come Gruffs - bristle me with horn,
chests out-puff, beards strokey-strokey,
blah-blah me glassy-eyed.
Blather-blather richer pasture, wide-wide opens.
Tells of green blades stropped on leathery tongue,
the sweet-suck-scent of heathery highs.
Tells how Gruff get all good things if him strong.
If him stretch, him reach-reach sky.
Me blurt - them look me slit, narrow-narrow.
‘No-no,’ them wags. ‘No reach for Nounous,
them’s broody-breeds, made to follow.
Gruffs learned me pain to marrow.
Caused me blart so hard me split sides,
spill out innards, bawl out eyes. So hard me sick-up heart.
It looked pathetic lying there, pooled in offal and hair.
I wrapped it in the tatters of my kiddy-hide,
left it to harden beside the shucked off corns of hoofs,
the dazed gaze of rolling eyes.
I grew a thicker skin, got more guts,
clearer vision. Sharpened the points of my horns.
Published in the 52 anthology