The Mother's Creed by Cat Dixon
Daughter, here in the fog of slumber
we count sheep and we weep for
the endless creep of lust, the insatiable
route of hunger, the deluge of suitors
knocking at the locked door. Destroy
the house and head for the garden.
Eat the apple—save the core. Each seed,
a man who has the upper hand, but you,
with hay for hair—in the rain long
strands that are pumpkin slime
that lace the picnic table—slice each
man open, nibble the loose edges, accuse
each of a crime. Love is a crime.
See, this man’s forehead is sloping.
See, this man’s mouth parting
to lick his lips—an eyeless slick worm.
See how each word is a feeble attempt
at alchemy, each word a bruise
on the skin, each word a lie.
Cat Dixon is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014). She is the managing editor of The Backwaters Press, a nonprofit press in Omaha. She teaches creative writing at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including Sugar House Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Eclectica, and Mid-American Review.
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