Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Kerri Shying R # 98 Possum People

The Possum People
( for my cuz Beth)

because we made the skins
it was always under there

 warm spot
 to be had

they got lost
and put away

and spindled
in the heart

unearthing bodies
tongues and hair remembered

words were spoken
inside outside
 unsaid resaid

cast in ink
along family grapevines
all but withered

hanging from a nail
on weather grey paling

the knowing
what it meant
the letting go

no bird caught
without a fast step
away from what is safe

something somewhere
always dies

always dies
when every family lives

we sculpt we sculpt with everything

 it started long ago
with adding names
the sucker names

the sculptors of the nation
using us as clay the
dark brown skins
admixed with flour

mum taught us
always get the entoleted one
we would giggle thinking

darker shades of flour
crossed the minds of those gents

our little human slurry
took a hand in destiny
told lies
like all the rest
who could

why not
don’t say

 the angry man was born
that dark child
came right from the heart

of the nation

possum birth
flour life
flower fathered

we live inside our story
even though we think we don’t

it writes us
wields us
sends us children
 made of skin

(the touch of skins revives them)

skins a diatribe
 always present never far
from me

a long long way
from home


  1. This is a marvelous and important poem, Kerri. Thank you.

  2. "skins a diatriabe", perfectly spoken from inside the poem

    1. Thank you Efi, I went back and back and back on that!

  3. Wow, Kerri, I have tears in my eyes. What magical poem, needs saying it does.


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