The Notched Wing

Helen Tara Hughes – Poetry, Fiction, Film, Phantasms

Conundrum (to be read aloud)

What’s a girl to do
when the boy don’t call don’t write don’t phone
won’t even tuck you in at night,
Oh this one’s got your heart checked out on loan
and it’s long overdue,
its pages are rumpled, some of them crumpled, and now
it might just even
smell like mold.

And you are waiting for a sign, something divine
which is what you thought he was before this mess and distress

Somewhere he drifts through the city
unscathed by the thoughts that now plague you with no outlet
girl they would jet from your lips
like a five alarm fire hose if he stood to take it
but he knows enough not to come around,
not to make a sound,
don’t he,
Sistah.

So you keep closing the bar alone at night
keep watching the drunks stumble home tight with longing

An old friend calls you
to propose, you would move to Vancouver
have his children,
suck his dick like a Hoover, wear nice clothes
and you, girl,
you say no.

So you’re feeling numb, so you’re feeding on crumbs
you can always reheat memories of the night he held you

And you can make it through the day and you will fucking be okay
this love’s not the only one, and one fine day your Prince will come.

But when you finally see him close
that boy will kiss you on the nose
you will touch his scruffy cheek
and you will feel so still, so weak

When he takes you in his arms
with an utter lack of charm
he’s a simple kind of man,
no fucking retirement plan

In the quiet of his room
if you let him hold you true,
a thousand candles burst into bloom
around you.

So what’s a girl to do with that, Sistah?
What’s a girl to do?

by tara hughes

Author: smallboy

Helen Tara Hughes is a writer, producer and actor. An award-winning theatre performer, she cut her teeth in classical and new work at major theatres across Canada, including the Stratford Festival. Her first taste of documentary work – a POV radio documentary for CBC’s ‘Outfront’ – gave her the documentary bug, and in 2009 she transitioned into Producing with the feature documentary, Goodness in Rwanda. As a writer, she has been published by Backofthebook.ca, Eros Digest, and TWISI, and has a book of short stories that will be published in the fall of 2012. As a filmmaker, she creates short films based on poetic writing. She moonlights as an Asst Producer and Coordinator for documentary, factual, and independent films, and is developing a slate of her own media projects for 2013.

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