Hound’s Tooth Sharp, by Debi Swim

Hound’s Tooth Sharp
by Debi Swim

Remember that jacket you wore?
Black and white hound’s tooth,
wool blend paired with a straight
skirt, hem just at the knee – sleek,
sophisticated. It said I am somebody
look at me, look at me.
I admired you. You were the prettiest
Mom of anyone outside of TV I knew.
But, you always pushed me aside in
your affections. I was the oldest, gawky,
plain – I think I reminded you too
much of a rocky marriage. I was a pawn,
tug of war, with his parents. Unfortunate
for me, even after Daddy died.

The pattern of our relationship
is hound’s tooth sharp.
Seems there is always a bite
behind the smile. I wait for the nip.
It’s made me gun shy, careful,
getting just so close, but no closer.
The irony is that now you want
to love me and me to love you. You want
that relationship my daughters
and I have. I’m sorry we can’t be closer,
but I can’t break through this pattern.
Black and white checks hound me.
I do love you but not wholly.
I love you carefully, reservedly. I stay
safely in the margins of the pattern.

Note: Written in response to Red Wolf Poems, Prompt 221.

Debi Swim writes primarily to prompts. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and happy WV poet.


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