Effigy

Daddy beat the love out of me

he drew the buckle into my skin

built metal plates over my flesh

to blind the greatest of his sin


Mommy pumped the dreams out of me

so I dipped my finger in the fuel and wrote a poem

something for her to preen


Mommy drained the dreams out of me

replaced my blood with oil and gasoline

polished and buffed my metal scales clean

hooked me up religiously to the IV


Daddy squeezed the love out of me

so I took the ink and made a painting

to give it back to him


Daddy stole the breath out of meand

brought a pair of collapsible lungs

screwed lasers to my shoulder and

fixed my hips with guns


Mommy robbed the breath out of me

soI took the inhaled dust and hummed a tune

her own brand of poison


Mommy beat the fear out me and

Daddy beat the fear out of me

Welded me into a machine

And encased my heart in fire and chains


A vice so strict that even they couldn’t break so

I raised my tin arms and laughed

At their one fatal mistake.


Marwah Saleh
Age 16, Grade 11
High School for Health Professions & Human Services
Gold Key

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