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Elizabeth Analysis

Author: poem of Michael Ondaatje Type: poem Views: 4

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Catch, my Uncle Jack said

and oh I caught this huge apple

red as Mrs Kelly's bum.

It's red as Mrs Kelly's bum, I said

and Daddy roared

and swung me on his stomach with a heave.

Then I hid the apple in my room

till it shrunk like a face

growing eyes and teeth ribs.

Then Daddy took me to the zoo

he knew the man there

they put a snake around my neck

and it crawled down the front of my dress

I felt its flicking tongue

dripping onto me like a shower.

Daddy laughed and said Smart Snake

and Mrs Kelly with us scowled.

In the pond where they kept the goldfish

Philip and I broke the ice with spades

and tried to spear the fishes;

we killed one and Philip ate it,

then he kissed me

with the raw saltless fish in his mouth.

My sister Mary's got bad teeth

and said I was lucky, hen she said

I had big teeth, but Philip said I was pretty.

He had big hands that smelled.

I would speak of Tom', soft laughing,

who danced in the mornings round the sundial

teaching me the steps of France, turning

with the rhythm of the sun on the warped branches,

who'd hold my breast and watch it move like a snail

leaving his quick urgent love in my palm.

And I kept his love in my palm till it blistered.

When they axed his shoulders and neck

the blood moved like a branch into the crowd.

And he staggered with his hanging shoulder

cursing their thrilled cry, wheeling,

waltzing in the French style to his knees

holding his head with the ground,

blood settling on his clothes like a blush;

this way

when they aimed the thud into his back.

And I find cool entertainment now

with white young Essex, and my nimble rhymes.

Anonymous submission.


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