Oklahoma Boyhood

by Amy Susan Wilson


Each time
I painted nails
Brilliant Blush,
Sparkle Silver,
I’d land in the bathroom.
Larry the Ladle
or Mike the Metal Spatula?

Door locked shut,
I bent my bare bottom
over the tub,
my rump
an Old Testament

Mom boiling ears
of corn,
“Law & Order”
blaring from the TV,
as Dad made me
into a man.

Each wallop
I dreamed of
pink silk
across my face,
someone’s palm
other than my own
to wipe tears.
Real boys
don’t sew
magic capes,
sneak Mama’s
ladybug necklace.

never tremble
spoon or spatula.

Originally published in This Land, Vol. 4, Issue 16. August 15, 2013.