Michele Amas



The Steeple Chase

Get off my back
this is not dancing
you have sharpened your spurs.

Get off my back
you are giving me
the fingers
behind my head.

Get off my back
you have me pinned
against the ropes
the ref is on his tea break.

Get off my back
I am not carrying you
to my grave.

Get off my back
from up there you are
taller than me.

I will not race you
to the finish line
race you to freedom
I will not count down.

I am not your competitor
you signed me up
without my permission.

I am not your
leap frog.

Golden Delicious

She is sunny
she is sunny side up, my girl
running to meet me.
The other girls look lumpy
with their slumping shoulders
dyed hair and regrowth.
But my one is a beautiful apple
rolling down the drive
out past the school gates.


It is my fault
her toenails
her thighs
the hideous
hair on her arms.

My fault
she has too many books
it’s making her schoolbag

Fat is my fault
I don’t feed her
correctly, don’t limit
her intake.

My fault
the failed marriage
I am simply

No money is my fault
what sort of grown-up
is an actress.

No brothers or sisters
my biggest fault
an unpardonable crime.


It’s a feast or a famine
with sperm
wouldn’t you say?
Some days they can lap at your feet
other days are shorter.

I see flakes of babies
on hands
on shirt fronts
on benches
on car back-seats

The old guy, toothless and cursing
wearing socks and jandals
is full of babies.

The college boy
has left babies
on his sheets this morning.

The Unborn Ones

The brothers and sisters
how stupid of them
to leave it up to me.

Stupid too
the German psychologist’s

One child will now
bury her parents.

The brothers and sisters
salty baby mammals
have returned to the sea

turning into little grey whales.


Bullshit, she says
and I better bloody not be.
I watch her b’s bounce off
the breakfast table,
stinging little orange and black
stick to my hair.

The txt

Mum come upstairz
my throats 2 sore
2 call out 2 u.

In firemother red
I take the stairs
two at a time.


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Author’s Note


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