All Her Life
But instead she came up behind him
And again put her arms around him.
She was not angry, she said, only hurt.
All her life she’d been told she was
No good, and would never amount
To anything. It was like a monkey
Sitting on her shoulder,
Whispering ugly words in her ear
The moment she began to think
Better of herself. As a mother,
As an artist, as a human being,
She wasn’t so bad, she guessed,
But the monkey had different ideas.
His breath rose and fell on her breast,
Blowing at her conceit like a bellows.