Questioned

Elizabeth P. Glixman

Yes, she is the one
mole above her eye
Yes, Yes
She is the one I am sure
Sure she has
old lady shoes the orthopedic ones
With the uneven heels
the hunched shoulder
those milky eyes

What a monster detective
hurt my gut
A brown bag wallop
threw that bag
a snake like a snake
Arrest her
She did me bodily harm
My bruises are blue blue black pink
Black circles of oil washed to shore
Pink lips a mother’s kiss

I need a kiss
Last night in the rain
the old lady white hair
stiletto heels
cough drops in her hand
punched me out when I asked for a quarter
with that monster supermarket bag
Familiar face
last October
The same woman cut me yes here
Watch red like a river
warm blood hasn’t healed
a mother’s milk gone sour
see look

Your mother
Sure I read the Bible once
I know those ten laws
False witness to bear
Not me She beat your mother
With the supermarket bag
And took her face
dragged it away in the supermarket cart
Those are the facts
Yeah, sure

 

“The inspiration for ‘Questioned’ was a woman I know who is mentally ill and at one time was homeless. In telling her story to me, she said she had five sons. She told me they want nothing to do with her. It is hard to know if this is true. It is hard to know if much of what she told me is true. In knowing her I questioned my beliefs about who is the abuser and who is the abused when it comes to a parent with mental illness who appears to have failed her children. Where does responsibility lie: parent, child, family, society? The perceptions of all involved are shadowed in intense feelings.”

 

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