‘Love not good’, Vanessa Ackerman

Can you allow yourself

to –

Let me explain

My daughter

hunts for snails

places baby ones in their mother’s shell

this is how they are born

this is how she carries them

beats the pond with a stick

uncovers moss and tadpoles

explodes pond water

spurts out mud black

what rules can I give her?

the rules God made

prayers before bed

the rules Man made

legs together when you wear a skirt

in all the crevasses I stuff her full

of mother’s love

mother i am not hungry

mother please let me tell you when i am no longer hungry

but where is mother love to go?

do not disturb the tadpoles I say

the pond holds water deep

daughter perched on rock beats, beats

a long stick like a rod

i am the almighty

do I love her do I love her

when she beats and beats and beats?

I do not.

be gentle be quiet the tadpoles

they might be sleeping.

daughter skips off the rock

somersaults , capitulates

she will not disturb them