;

Reprise by Kathleen Hellen

Reflex. Automatic. My son with that look when I slapped him. Something in the genes, the violence of pathways reenacting: biologies of caterwaul of bottle-fights of fists into the wall. I saw Mother with her twin colossals jug-drunk dancing jigs.

Reflex. Automatic. My son with that look when I slapped him.
Something in the genes, the violence of pathways reenacting:
biologies of caterwaul of bottle-fights of fists into the wall.

I saw Mother with her twin colossals jug-drunk dancing jigs. Her laugh,
big or bigger, her three sheets to the wind—My Father’s hands like blackened mitts.

I wanted none of it—that phonograph. The crankpin, that turntable
that played the groove over and over. I put the toys away. A ball,
a holstered gun. Things to tell me I was having fun.

 

 

 

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About Kathleen Hellen

Kathleen Hellen
Kathleen Hellen’s Umberto’s Night won the 2012 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize from Washington Writers’ Publishing House. Awards include poetry prizes from the H.O.W. Journal and Washington Square Review and two Pushcart nominations in 2013. Finishing Line Press published her two chapbooks: The Girl Who Loved Mothra (2010) and Pentimento (2014).