V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




By fair means or foul, they track you down:
those escaped from the lips of strangers

those handed to you on a leash, as though
your ears were cages, secure.

Here’s the dirt on a good friend’s mother.
How can this good friend still

not know?  And Gossip, now yours to release
or lock up forever, tugs, tugs: Tell!           

Here’s the pride of another
mother: You’ll never know what I

put up with, all those years.  And three years
after her death, without being called, Sudden

Insight, snarling, sidles
into the pack.

What to do when a foreigner tells you what
she told another: if he’s abusive, and law

won’t let you divorce, this method: 
so easy and safe, it leaves no trace.

Bad dogs, bad dogs, I never
asked to own you and now

must keep you from harm
the rest of my life.


© by Ingrid Wendt


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