maureenstclair.com

dear shame

dear shame,

I see you  

five-year old sun

spinning round and round

you, who look closest to the sun

round and radiant

until laughter punches you in the belly

a mom’s silence

as if laughter

punched her harder than you

dear shame,

little sister,

attention seeker

record thief

hider of merchandise under beds

returner of unseen borrowed goods

Itching powder rubbed onto backs of legs

heads held under chlorinated water

tickling until tickling became

Unconsciousness

A whack to the ass

dear shame

I want to

smoke

drink

binge

scroll

chat

you away

away

dear shame

you will no longer coax

fingers

to chip up the weed

twist the cork

flip up the laptop 

pour another coffee

we will stay  

and feel you

not feed you  

we will

swim

dance

run

write

walk

you into motion

dear shame

we know your generational

wounds

Great Grandmothers’  

babies dead on boats  

and hospitals that could not protect them

new languages stuck in throats

priests who did things to boys

dear shame

lingering

hiding,

defending

denouncing

collapsing

blaming

vomiting

dear shame  

now is the time

to do right by the ancestors,

apologize to the descendants

befriend  

break cycles

heal lineages  

punch one another

in bellies

no longer

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