Helmsman

“For years, I thought I hated children’s laughter.
I had no idea I was just hungry.”
Healthy Choice ad

No children of my own, I thought
they all laughed that way—
teasing, cruel. Some poor scapegoat
forced to ingest god knows what.

Cleaning the dormitories, scrubbing
the blood from the shower walls,
my stomach contracts like a fist
around a blank coin.

Tomorrow, the soles of the state
inspector’s shoes will squeak
against spit-shiny floors.
He’ll hear nothing else. But today

I move backwards down the corridor
with the mop steering from side to side,
its wet locks dragging
an endless river of filth.


In response to
twisted rib: “Secrecy imposed on the exposure of alleged child abuse”

Series Navigation← Vagina DialogueOld Norse Family Values →
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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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