ONE EASTER THERE WERE NO EGGS

BY HELEN GILL

one easter there are no eggs

instead, a kind of bush crucifixion

is played out

in the early morning

as we find two precious gifts

perched in the gums

one each, dangling

 

oh your dimples

warmed and softened rubbery in the morning sun

your plaited woollen strands

plucked free of gum leaf 

and overnight spider web

 

are those butterflies in your pupils?

your spongy synthetic limbs

are too soft…too pink

a little too…fleshy?

something...

 

I look to my big sister

she knows

she turns hers over

lays it face down over her knee

as if ready

for a spanking

she reveals a buttock

a blank buttock

 

'she must have got them from the chemist'

she hisses

and I follow her

inside to the stationery box

where she plucks a blue

ball point pen 

and dares to scrawl

across that shamefully 

blank buttock

 

with christening rights I name mine Emily

after my friend in school

my sister names hers 

Becky-Sue

because that’s what a real 

cabbage patch

would be called

 

Helen Gill is a conservator of paintings.

Next: Inactive ingredients by Alice Cannon

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