The Bite ( after Sharon Olds )

When I was four years-old,    
I bit my six month-old brother, hard;    
my baby-teeth sinking into his delicate flesh,      
soap residue coated my lips from his fresh bath.      
As he screamed, I felt instant shame.      
But it was too late, my mother retaliated      
puncturing my good arm with her canines,      
a consequence of my action.        
Her sharp anger drew blood;
she became an old nurse      
whose sensitivity disappeared with youth.      
I was jealous of the affection afforded him    
because it was foreign behaviour;      
something I never experienced from her.      
It contrasted belt and switch marks,    
and exile to my bedroom.        
All alone, listening to her coo    
while he giggled, I realized being loved was something    
I was abandoned to learn on my own.      
I scanned my toys, those inanimate, cold-blooded    
bodies, and realized I had so much love to give    
regardless of their inability to reciprocate.      
I hugged my doll, tightly, that soft rubber baby    
with a damaged arm.  I never stopped Loving    
after that.        
And one day, I allowed its return.      
Written by Ahavati
Published | Edited 3rd Jun 2019
Author's Note
For the Classic Corner: Sharon Olds' Tribute Competition
Based on her poem 'The Clasp':
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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