Singular Motherhood


Singular Motherhood

Housewife, how benign.
That life’s not mine.

I raised them fine,
looked after each one.
Now I want fun, so I spend
what I’ve spun. Lives

Like my son’s, escaping
to college before his policy was claimed.
No more stomach pains for him.
So I turned to his kin,

Insured in the spring.
Her sickness now crippling,
I unfailingly sit,
holding cold nails with manicured lines
in arsenic white.
Her shrivelling cries, I always attend.
Paralysed by the love I inject,
in the hospital bed,

She’s just like her dad. Dead,
I had my way with his heart
through his stomach; both stopped.
Nobody thought
of what he’d been fed. “Hepatitis,” they said.
I got a cheque.

And I spent it on dresses, jewels and etcetera.
Creditors called,
Call my son’s what I said.
Since he’s not dead, he should pay
for my buying.
My logic is fine.

Though my credit is dire.
Bad cheques got me arrested,
and some friend was a snitch
about those needles I’d give
to my daughter. Her father, they wondered.
My son dug him up.
This needs to be done. “Of course,” I agreed.

Autopsy’s next week.
I needed a break, so I drove from our street
and our lives and their ends
and even our state. A new life’s what I’ll raise.

Something’s wrong with my brain.
That’s what I’ll say
to the next one I find.
And that I’m set to inherit, before dying
from some cancer of the mind.
I hope he likes blondes,

Because that’s what I see
in the future of me,
sort of like a twin;
the one I keep in
till she marries again.

Copyright © by Kevan Copeland

This poem appeared previously on the Very Nice, Very Nice blog under the pseudonym Anthony Zanetti.