by Kim Suttell
Her legs were a legend. Veins and scars stood
for abbreviations of men mapped
over years, over islands, past summits,
past lovers and husbands, common-law, legal.
Some of these men had a leg to stand on
when she cleaned out the accounts
and forgot the toddlers at day care, the director
seething into the tenth voice message—
shake a leg, you shit, I’m calling Children’s Services—
the little charges droop in the dark on a stained rug
and hum lamb’s tail songs to one another.
Later, tossed among foster siblings, clanking
like beer bottles under the feet
of hapless single dads, her children cling
to stories. All her children—across six counties
and several protective agencies—conspire
truth about her: She is an actress in Spanish dramas
with glitter on her flamenco legs. She’s a rodeo star
in buckskin fringe, tanhide thighs shaped for bull.
She’s a pirate even at this minute in struggle
against a strangling octopus, now swimming to safety,
her strong legs churning sharks into dizzying circles.
Kim Suttell lives in New York City where she hears poetry on the subway. Some of her poems reside in Right Hand Pointing, Cleaver Magazine, The Cortland Review, and other journals. Please visit them at page48.weebly.com.