she said the dogs gave her no reprieve
she said, “they hunted me down, then stared and nibbled.”
and she could not understand that bag-like quietness
or why a witness walked past like he had something to wash.
she could not understand why the dogs nibbled when they could have chewed.
her mum tried to allay her angst by applying dragon balm.
(and this was the most decent thing anyone did, mind you)
her mum said, “Nothing happened: be grateful there was no chewing-shewing.”
Her uncle said, “Take responsibility for things.
Know that you are a kind of meaning, that you make yourself mean.
And don’t blame others!"
It was from about this time, she reckoned, that she learnt an altered language, one in which she was both subject and agent, with the responsibility to always engender her own damage. The dogs were peripheral, they came and went, but had no account and no debts to settle.
Forgive me a little. I do not hate dogs or uncles or mothers. This merely came about.
Incidentally, I've been reading some Metaphysical Poetry of late (by John Donne and Andrew Marvell). They're famous for a device called the "metaphysical conceit", which refers to an elaborate metaphor in which two incongruent things are likened:
“Love is a growing, or full constant light,
And his short minute, after noon, is night” (from A Lecture upon a Shadow)
Because these comparisons are unexpected, they sometimes have the effect of startling the reader into insight. But quite often, the comparisons are prolix: the details jar with the landscape and meaning is snuffed out. I think my attempt here jars a bit.
Maybe I'll persevere.