When We Go to the Butcher

When we go to the butcher,

I’ll hold your hand so hard

my memory will seep

through your pores

and you’ll be looking

down on your little eyes

and little nose

and two lips glued

tight into a cherub’s smile

and you will hear my heart

at your ear

and the way it says “I’m sorry.”

When we go to the butcher

your father will be sitting

at my right and at my left,

an empty place where fear

resides, and if I could

be a something better.

we’d never be riding

in the first place.

When we go to the butcher

remember all those times,

but not just the good.

Remember me, a little

monster,

a fly off the handle,

hellish time of a girl

turned woman

turned something

turned and pickled

with fear’s empty space.

But when we go to the butcher

also know about my brave

little heart.

How courage is what lights

it a-thump.

And alights yours, too,

with my hopelessly

hopeful prayers.

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