July 12, 2012

MamaKat prompted us to write a poem about betrayal this week.  Ideas clattered around in my head for days, but I settled on this one. Sometimes the truth is ugly, but it is still the truth.

For B.

The fat lady really does sing–she’s doing it now, with feeling.
She’s a shit singer, a church warbler,
but we endure. Your small daughter crawls into my lap.
She smells yeasty, unbathed for several days,
And when the fat lady trills
“Did you ever know that you’re my hero?”
I bury my face in the flesh of her neck. Inhale.

Are you out of your mind, choosing this song?
Was he your hero when he ran upstairs for the gun?
Was he a hero when you heard the blast, crouched against the doorframe?
Was he a hero when we sat on the Pollock-spattered stairs,
tethered by arms, staring at splashes turning from red to rust?

You said you had to show somebody.
Had to show the hole through plaster, the trajectory–
the bullet that lodged, spent, above the crib in the nursery.
The fat lady stops singing. I almost believe in God.
Pressed together, we weather the rest of this circus,
the talk and praises about a good man.

We pack a life into boxes and bags, brisk and efficient–
You and I vow a clean break, but I have to wrestle his toothbrush out of your hand.
A toothbrush? Is that the ruler that measures a man?

Driving home, I almost hit a deer, a little slip of big ears and tender legs.
I slam on the brakes but the deer doesn’t move; black eyes meet blue.
When I tell you this, what it’s like to hold a life in your hands,
you scoff. “That’s the problem with you,” you say.
“The things you think mean something are nothing at all.”

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby July 12, 2012 at 6:35 am

Wow. This doesn’t happen very often, but I’m not sure what to say. You said so much with so little, and I’m (selfishly) left wanting to know all the details. Very powerful, my friend. Very powerful.

And for what it’s worth, the little things I often think mean something are worth more to me than the big things. They’re the things that people forget, discard and distractedly choose to ignore. They’re the big things.


TKW July 12, 2012 at 7:43 am


Thank you. I had to edit the heck outta this f**ker so I didn’t say too much. Took a long time.

And I agree–little things do matter.


Jody July 12, 2012 at 6:41 am

This needs to go in your “best of” section.


Arnebya July 12, 2012 at 6:47 am

Oh, that one comment pisses me off to no end. I’ve heard it all my life: that means nothing, why are you obsessing over such an insignificant detail? Believe me, I know how to separate the big shit from the little shit and believe me, if I mention it, whether it’s piddly shit to you, it is big shit to me and that’s what matters and it is my truth.

Oh, boy. I wish I had something more to say about this simultaneously tender yet volatile poem. I’ve been to this circus. The clowns don’t even know they’re without their red noses.


TKW July 12, 2012 at 7:45 am


That last line, about the clowns not knowing they’re without red noses? Priceless.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes July 12, 2012 at 7:37 am

Wow… just wow. You really are a magician with words.


Camille Brightsmith July 12, 2012 at 8:01 am

I feel like I was there with you. Kinda not a great feeling, actually. Which just shows how awesome you are. Truly, totally awesome. Its good for us to go in each others shoes a little now and then.


Lyndsey July 12, 2012 at 8:47 am

Wow that was some powerful stuff. I am in awe of your writting talant! It sure gets you thinking.


Sherri July 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

You have such a talent for making connections – big experiences juxtaposed with little experiences – the monumental one time things with the daily stuff that we may or may notice. Crazy good – powerful. Nice job.


Phoo-d July 12, 2012 at 11:50 am

Wow. Powerfully done.


Maggie S. July 12, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Sounds like a song unfinished. Thank you for taking a chance and sharing.


TKW July 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Maggie S.,

The song is finished, but it’s ugly, so I didn’t.


Melissa July 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

How beautiful and haunting and yes… it left me wanting more. Thank you for sharing.


Tina July 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm

You are so very gifted.
I feel punched in the gut reading your words.
I imagine you wrote this with tears and shaking hands.
Very, very powerful.


TKW July 12, 2012 at 7:27 pm


Thank you. Three days and some serious glasses of wine, actually. And yes, tears. Thank you for coming by.


Kate July 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm

To create such a vivid world with so few words… Wow. Just wow.



jacquie July 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm

very powerful. thank you for writing for this for those of us who can not. and yes the little things are not really little at all – at least to some of us – and really are the “big” things. they are after all what makes us unique and human are they not? that is if we have the courage to go inside and examine them and ourselves.

peace and courage to you.


suzicate July 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Wow, just wow…pure magic! Tender and haunting. You leave us grasping for more. I wish I had words to tell you how beautiful and deep this is, Kitch. I can’t even imagine how difficult this was to write.


Alisa July 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

Wow. Difficult words but this is some powerful writing. Need to read it again.


Dawn July 14, 2012 at 4:33 am

Glad the song is finished. Hugs.


Jane July 14, 2012 at 11:53 am

So powerful with so few words – but that is what makes a wonderful poem. You are truly gifted with poetry, vignettes. Please say there is a novel in the works and put me in line to be the first to read it! xoxo


TKW July 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Thanks everyone, for the feedback and for taking the time to come by. This was a rough one, but I’m glad I did it.


Barbara July 15, 2012 at 5:24 am

I’m speechless. And guess I don’t want to know the nuts and bolts of this.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri July 16, 2012 at 11:06 am



Tiffany July 18, 2012 at 5:15 am

One of your best posts by far. I, too, would love to know more. That’s the sign of a great story.


Heather July 22, 2012 at 5:47 pm

I have read this over several times. It cuts like a knife every single time. This is amazing. Like everyone else I’m left wanting more, although I don’t know that I really want it. I feel like it would break my heart. Thanks for sharing this part of you.


Naptimewriting July 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm


Write shit like this and publish it in a place where they pay you with more than compliments.


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