In My Defense

Cheryl Chambers

It seeped out. A moment existed like
the second before a scratch turns bloody,
the time before the bursting took the dyke,
the time before water turned lands muddy.

It didn’t hurt. A storm’s eye softly looked,
like a funny funnel shaped thing, Milky
Way of the Evening News, small pieces hooked
waiting to claw me, safely seated, guilty.

It just happened. You know, like breakfast, or
the day you had your first (no second?) child,
because I started it, and if you cored
the essence—you’d find my punishment mild.

I wanted it gentle tomorrow, ’cept
it delivered tonight, no stone unswept.