YISKA'S HASSLE 1962

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 09, 2016

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Submitted: July 09, 2016

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Yiska's mother stops her
as soon as she gets
in from school.

Who was he?
She says.

Who was whom?
Yiska says.

The boy you brought home
lunch time
while I was out?

What boy?
Yiska says,
her brain turning over,
trying to imagine
how her mother
found out about
her bringing Benny
home with her
at lunchtime.

Don't lie or pretend
you don't know,
Mrs Chilton next door
saw you and a boy
enter the house lunchtime;
she was cleaning
her windows at the time,
Yiska's mother says.

Yiska rumbles through
her mind for a reason,
or tries to sweat it out.

I don't know what
she is on about;
I came home
alone lunch time,
Yiska says.

So Mrs Clinton
is lying then?
Her mother says.

Mistaken more,
Yiska says.

Her mother slams
her hand down
on the kitchen table
making the flower vase
full of carnations wobble,
then stand still.

DON'T LIE TO ME,
her mother bellows.

Yiska moves back,
and stares at her mother:
just a boy,
you know, Benny,
the boy I brought back
the other month,
and you got him lunch,
Yiska says.

Her mother stares at her;
a hand itching
to slap her daughter's face.

Benny?
Is that the boy's name?

Yes you said
it was all right
to bring him home
that day,
and I did,
and you fed,
and talked to him,
Yiska says,
looking past
her mother
at the late
afternoon sun
coming through
the kitchen window.

That was with permission,
her mother says,
you do not
bring boys home here
without my permission
understand?
Her mother stares at her,
her hand hanging
by her side shaking.

I forgot to ask you,
but I will next time.
Yiska says.

What makes you think
there will be a next time?
Her mother says.

We just had lunch;
didn't do anything wrong;
didn't do nothing,
Yiska says defensively.

I should hope not,
her mother says,
I can't trust you,
I can't.

Yiska looks back
at her mother,
at the shaking hand
at her side.

Sorry, I shouldn't have
brought him home,
Yiska says,
I won't bring
him again.

Her mother sighs
and walks away:
get out of your
school uniform
and we'll say
no more about it,
her mother says tiredly.

Yiska says nothing,
but climbs the stairs
to her room,
and closes the door,
and says:
fuck Mrs Chilton,
and her beady eyes;
hope her eyes fall out
with her teeth,
giving me
this hassle and grief.


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