Surrogate

Diana Stewart

We broke a window
at the Dastrups’
and never talk to them because
they kept our lime-green super ball.

We hid and Rags sought
(and usually found) us
Summer Sidewalk browned-
ignorant laughing.
Until the day that Daddy cut our bangs
without the scissors.
Then we stopped.

And now the Doctor sleeps alone,
sitting in his cobweb den
to drink his pickled purpose
with a straw.
And lucifer created black:
black hearts, black eyes, and ochre too.
He saw that it was good .
And you can be my children
if and if and if
(but not until you ‘re twenty-two).

I faithfully Purina’d Cat
until it died, distempered , in the back.
I’ve learned to never pet
for fear of claws.

We played the bells once .
(We, of course , ended .)
“I am a Child of ” Who?
(That ended too … . )

And just because Conor Larkin
died for the Irish Catholic
singing ” Dusty Bluebells”
I believed in the IRA,
until they bombed Mrs. Bridgeport
just walking to the super.
And now I only care for me,
but guess I really don ‘t.

And finally I hung it up
when Clayton saw subliminals
in Whiskey Ice
and Charly’s holy face .
Please, no more phone calls.
I’m sleeping.

Diana Stewart