Daughters of the Dirt / Sarah Higdon

by Spike Gillespie

It is not so much
those little twenty dollar
slaps in the mail
you send --
foolish green attempts
to placate my
bitter inner snake.
Green such a lovely color
the deepest shade
frosting my jealous weary bones -- 
bones that know you
never rise at seven thirty PRT
that's power ranger time to
me and a swarm of others
abandoned now, left behind
due to faulty reproductive systems
that inadvertently reproduced.
And really, come to think of it,
it's not so much those
mighty morphin teens that
bring me down day after day.
It's not that he has a fascination with
public toilets
and demands loudly,
at the grocery, the video store,
the library, the pharmacy,
the park, the concert,
the airport, and thirty miles
from the next exit.
It's not so much your blood
running through him
and his insistence that you,
a thousand miles away and
no doubt drunk again,
are his favorite person
in the whole world ever.
It's not my fear that I will die
and leave you and yours to
to fight all of mine
in a custody battle sure to
prompt a movie of the week
to be titled:
The New Jersey
vs. The St. Louis Drunks:
based on the true pathetic story
of one woman's poor choice in
a sperm donor.
It's not so much that
despite all heroic attempts
I cannot fully hate you
or pretend you are dead
and thinking such thus
finally grieve and let the
time scar the wound
thickly over in a way that
makes pain no longer possible.
It's not so much the
lack of arms around me at night --
the false and tiny sense of
semi-security I once thought I had.
No, to be shamelessly frank
I must admit that
more than anything
it is one thing
and that thing is...


Do you know,
have the slightest inclination,
what it is like,
night after weary night, 
to be forced to move,
one agonizing primarily colored
square at a time, 
toward King Kandy's castle
only to suffer the crushing blow
of being stuck on a black dot
praying the next card will be
a freeing blue?
Do you have a tiny clue
what it means to be one purple card
away from the victory that is
bedtime for him and bad t.v. time for me
only to draw the plum?
Do you know what it means to
draw the plum?
I'll tell you.
It is worse than landing on
the longest slide in Chutes and Ladders.
It is more horrifying than
landing on a multi-propertied Boardwalk
that is owned by someone other than
Landing on the plum means you must go back
fifteen squares from the start
and start again.
To land on the plum is to know
beyond a reasonable doubt
that Milton Bradley is run
by the same breeder-hating homosexual men
who brought us Strawberry Quik.
No, it is not so much
the staggering cost
of school and sitters and Lion King
candy bars and
Aladdin action figures
and tickets to ride rickety teacups
that spin out of control and
half off the track.
Really, it is just this
one little thing.
Spike Gillespie is safely out of Candyland these days.  She writes the Spike's Point column for AustinMama.com.