When Father Knew Best

Monsignor Dugan called us into the hall
said, you saw a dirty movie
tell your mothers,
You must leave Girl Scouts
or St. Mary’s School.                              I love Girl Scouts,
                                                                 I will never quit.

Father O’Brien, laughed,
“Fantasia, the birds and the bees?
                            Your mom invited me to dinner,
                                        thank God, can’t stomach Dugan.”

“I hope your sister
will be home,
she looks like Audrey Hepburn.”
                                                              Are you in love with Sissy,
                                                                        that’s a bigger sin than
                                                                                     the birds and bees.

“I watched Roman Holiday twice,
love the Vespa scene
when Hepburn holds Joe tight.”

                                                “Your mom’s lasagna, the best,
                                                see you at six,
                                                wear your Girl Scout uniform,
                                                do it for me.”

Baby’s First Protest: Uh-Oh

            lala la oooo
Baby doesn’t speak


Kids can’t be

Can’t believe
            the Bible said…

Don’t let Sarah B. hide
            behind ashen eyes


Don’t let a child be grabbed
            from mother’s breast

    Don’t let the concrete crack.

You know don’t you? know
            we will go under

Neruda said our first word
            was born in the blood

After Seeing Toulouse-Lautrec’s Poster “Can Can”

The artist stood four feet tall, the poster measures six
                                a tour de force

In the foreground, La Goulue, the star of every
                                can-can show

Dances to the steady beat of a metronome
                                tick kick tock kick

La Goulue’s pink tutu lifts
                                Men oh là là!

In 19th century Pigalle, dance halls shock, tight lips buzz
                      like a swarm of bees

A whirlwind of flirtation, Le Trec’s poster lures viewers to shirk
                                humdrum lives

To reside in smoky, golden gaslight, but his palette

To a long black smudge at the back of the Moulin
   In tux and top hats, a murky line of men,
                                attached at the hip

Anonymous voyeurs wishing wanting, disappearing
                                into one

The smug man in the foreground stares at La Goulue’s
                                       golden hair

He views all the enticing girls
                                       mutters La Goulue’s name

Wishes he could gesture, carry her upstairs, does
           not dare

Le Trec sketches his love, never mocks
                                        or gaslights,
   never slips, never says, “You deserve what you get