Red As A Rosie

Everyday I’d come home from school and see

Mama with knife in hand, slitting

Her forearms. The blood would run down pale skin,

And drip on to kitchen tile.

I’d watch as mama’s lips moved,

Singing herself a nursery rhyme.

Today it’s “Ring A-Round The

Rosie”, knife pressed to throat.

With backpack in hand, I watch Mama move

That blade across skin,

And listen as the rhyme turns

To a gurgling mess. Her

Blood is as red as those

Rosies she sings about, draining life

And staining shirt collar.

Mama won’t look at me, a

Smile on her face.

She doesn’t know

Me anyways, she hasn’t for years.

So I stand and watch

As Mama dies,

My tummy hungry for a ham sandwich.

I don’t wait long

For that last

Breath. It makes her body shudder,

And drop the knife. The

Tile turns red again, and I’m

Left to clean the mess.

But I only move for the phone,

Dialing Aunt Emma’s line.

She’s panicking and wondering why

I’m so darn calm,

But all I say is this:

“Auntie Em, my tummy hurts

So I’m going to go now,

And make a ham sandwich. Bye bye.”

Kimberly Wilde