Anne Bryant




Lullaby and Good Night


I.  Daddy's Girl

All around the wintry sheet
The Daddy touched his girlchild
Wet her in his warm release
Pop! goes the girlchild.

Tight within herself she reeled
Sealing in her heartstrings
In little boxes well concealed
Pop! goes the girlchild.

Shame maintained the vaults intact
Until she tried to marry
Love exposed the stinking cracks
Pop! goes the girlchild.


II.  Playtime

This old man, he played one
He played knick knack on her buns
      With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two
He played knick knack stick in hoop
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This old Pan came prancing home.

This old man, he played three
He played knick knack we, we, weeeeeee
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This wee wonk came walking home.

This old man, he played six
He played knick knack licked her lips
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This old Dick came dilly dally home.

This old man he played four
He played knick knack smashed her door
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This old prick came slam-bang home.

This old man, he played nine
He played knick knack whine and grind     
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This Old Nick came slinking home.

This old man, he played five
He played knick knack made her ride
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This big buck came boldly home.

This old man, he played seven
He played knick knack talked of heaven
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This old scam came shambling home.

This old man, he played eight
He played knick knack seeded hate
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This old ram came ambling home.

This old man, he played ten
He played knick knack at her end
     With a knick knack patty whack
             Give a girl the bone
                     This old man came rolling home.


III.    Mother's Touch

Now I lay her down to sleep
Stay unless she starts to weep
For I have had enough of tears,
Nor will I still her bogeyman fears.

I hush her down into her bed.
Scorn her pull upon my head;
Yet kneel to kiss her trusting eyes
Caressing brush so I can fly.

Thus I push her down to sleep,
Rush to move, my hand to keep
Her head pressed in her pillowed nest,
Now I lay her down to rest.


IV.    Mother Damnable

She kept the household straightened,
With persnickety skill,
Rocked her babies combed and buttoned
And chiseled their wills;
        But Mother Damnable had no eyes,
                She had no ears,
                      She had no arms.

She baked them ginger cookies
Scrolled with sugary ink,
"Spoiling youngsters is my hobby,"
She giggled and winked;
       That Mother Damnable who had no eyes,
                She had no ears,
                      She had no arms.

She wooed her little children
With an ivory sound,
Wheeling visions white and open
They grew spellbound;
       To Mother Damnable who had no eyes,
                She had no ears,
                      She had no arms.
 
And so it was, that their arms tightened
And their eyes mattered shut,
Their eardrums thick and hardened
Like Mother, all grown-up.





Anne Bryant has been a psychologist in a mental hospital and an elementary school librarian. Her work has appeared in the Kansas Quarterly, North Atlantic Review, and The New York Quarterly.









                                    

 

Home
Current Issue
Submissions
Contributors' Notes


Email this poem Printer friendly page

A CLOSER LOOK: D. Nurkse

Morgan Bazilian

Jeffrey P. Beck

Anne Bryant

Grace Cavalieri

Norma Chapman

Joan Colby

Amber Rose Crowtree

Stephen Devereux

Chidsey Dickson

Alixa Doom

Kimberly Glanzman

Jane Ellen Glasser

Taylor Graham

Alicia Hoffman

Sonja James

Michael Lauchlan

Mercedes Lawry

J.T. Ledbetter

Hailey Leithauser

Hailey Leithauser interviews Averill Curdy

Steven Levery

Lyn Lifshin

Joanne Lowery

Michael H. Lythgoe

Janet McCann on Barbara Crooker

Judith McCombs

John McKernan

Roger Mitchell

Charles Patrick Norman

Simon Perchik

Perry L. Powell

Stephen S. Power

Oliver Rice

W.M. Rivera

William Ruleman

Sherod Santos

Anjali Angelika Sarkar

Ed Shacklee

Matthew Buckley Smith on Averill Curdy

Noel Smith

A.B. Spellman

Robert Joe Stout

More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 


Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017 - 1:39:51 PM

Copyright 2005 - 2017 Cook Communication.