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Chicks

By , Santa Maria, CA
We used to argue about who would be the third little pig
Because that's the one who's smartest
Because that's the one who lives
Michaela said she was the strongest
Only she could build a house of brick
Violet said she was the oldest
She deserved it most
And me?
What about me?
I never understood why we all couldn't just live together
Forever and ever

So this is what we used to do
While Daddy watched from heaven
Or Hell
I guess we'll never know
This is what we used to do
As Mommy screamed
And screamed and screamed
And this is what I thought about--
Those three little pigs
When Momma jabbed the needle in her skin
And Violet cried
A long mournful wail
Everyone was so sad
And I hated her
So, so much
Not supposed to hate your own mother
But I did
Because can't live with
Can't live without
So how would Mommy live?

She had to be born again
Start over
From scratch
We taught her how to walk the right way
No more swaying with drunkenness
No more falling to the ground
We taught her how to talk the right way
No more swearing
Or slurring
Or screaming
We taught her how to read and write,
How to tie her shoes
To sleep without a night light
We taught her all the colors
Red for roses;
Not for blood
Green for grass;
Not for the color your face turns
Right before you puke
We taught her to roller-skate
Up and down the hills we rode
Up and down the hills
We taught her how to smile
Started out slow at first
But then went fast
And soon she learned to laugh
And, you know what?
I was laughing, too.

We used to argue about who would be the third little pig
Because that's the one who's smartest
Because that's the one who lives
Michaela said she was the strongest
Only she could build a house of brick
Violet said she was the oldest
She deserved it most
And me?
What about me?
I never understood why we couldn't all just live together
Forever and ever
Now I know that it's not supposed to be me
Not my sisters either
We were never the Three Little Pigs
Because if we were
What would that make my mother?
The Big Bad Wolf?
Maybe back then
When she screamed and screamed
When Momma jabbed the needle in her skin
And Violet cried
A long mournful wail
Everyone was so sad
And I hated her
I really did
But not now
No, I still do not love her
That will take time
But, if she had to be born again
Then so did I
Because she is my mother
And we grow together

So, no, my sisters and I are not the Three Little Pigs
And my mother is not the Big Bad Wolf
I see it more clearly now
A different story
She is the mother duck
And we are her baby chicks





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