Saturday, August 11, 2012


I hadn’t thought much about profanity
since my mother washed my four year old
mouth with soap-

My mother was a school teacher
She knew first hand, about the fallout 
from loose potty language

I repeated  “You are a Fucking Ass!”
after the initial reproach, like a big kid-
Just like the big kids

My brother was the mannequin
for new words I picked up at the park.
Had I tried them on my mother
I might have lost my tongue altogether

There aren’t report cards for parents
but I’ve come to learn that “Fucking ass”
from your child, is as close to an “F” as it gets

I monitor words with the yardstick
of the Quebec language police, measuring
the size of French and English letters

Still, I yelled FUCK
when I threw my back, leaning down
to tie my three year old son’s shoes-

It was a restrained response
in relation to my pain, but it scared my son
who must have read the memo about bad words

He repeated-
“Mama say FUCK, Max no ike it;
Mama say FUCK, Max no ike it”-
over and over and over and over

I didn’t know who’s mouth to wash
to end the indiscriminate broadcast
of my maternal misconduct

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