Poem: Other People’s Children

I used to babysit when I was a teenager.  One night I babysat for Kimmy Graham–it was right after Christmas–she had just received a toy guitar as a gift, and I decided, after Kimmy had gone to bed, that I would tune the guitar and play it.  Big mistake!  The peg, that holds the string, broke, and there was nothing I could do to repair it.

I should, of course, have explained the situation to Mr. and Mrs. Graham, that I hadn’t meant to break the peg, and that I would replace the guitar.  But I was young and stupid.  I put the string back and made it look like the peg had broken by itself (yeah, sure!).  Needless to say, the Grahams never hired me again.

This was originally a sound file.  But the sound file was lost in transfer, so I’m posting the poem here:

OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN

I admit
I didn’t brush my hair much
It fell like barbed wire
Around my head and neck

I read S&M porn
Waiting for Dr. and Mrs. Parent to return
The night fallen — a bayonet dropped on an unsuspecting sun
I marked time, wrecked on the couch
I am a monster

Where am I?  How did I get here?
Puffy face, zits, lost teeth
Gaps in intellect — something’s missing

I admit
Monster that I am
You don’t want me near your children
I broke young Timmy Parent’s G.I. Joe doll he got for Christmas
Don’t you see?

I never bathed, never cared to
Death-reek lapped the flames
Drooled in front of the TV
While the kids sucked their fingers
In their fire-resistant long-johns
Nobody’s home except me and the kids

You see, I roared
While stuffing little Eddie down the toilet
His pink feet kicked like a soldier’s amputated legs
A mutilated spider, its daddy-longs pulled off
I am a monster

I am a monster
When I call the police — 9-1-1
My voice flat as a dead bullet
“I drowned the kids.”

Feedback and comments welcome!