“Family Shrapnel” by L.K. Thayer


My mom asked me,“was I a bad mother?”
she couldn’t remember how she’d mothered us
it was all more about coping, surviving & needlepoint
painting the wall bittersweet
the emerald green carpet, white wicker furniture
and collecting brass birdcages
she would douse herself in Estee Lauder
enough to choke the neighbors down the hall
I think she must have been in a state of shock
for a few years
just went on automatic kamakzie pilot
when the “D” bomb went off
the family shrapnel blew out into tiny
pieces in tiny hands
cupping Campbell’s tomato soup
with grilled cheese sandwiches for supper
helping us on and off with our winter snow suits
& boots & hats & mittens
on & off with mosquito spray
on & off with life preservers
from Fargo for God’s sake…
icicles running down our little snot noses
slipping on the ice chin first,
bleeding into Kleenex tissues
(there goes my Sonya Hieny skating career)
the mother thing…
I dodged that bullet
I picked up the worry gene
from my grandmother
and colon cancer
the surgeon sliced eight inches off of mine
now I’m a semi-colon
(she says with an exclamation point)
Mostly I’ve dodged my own Uzi
pointed at my self destructive noggin
mostly I was the hit man
the target I wanted to take out
I should have citizens arrested myself
spent a few nights in lock down
mostly I got loaded, shit faced
drunk, numb enough to slide
out of my shy state
and under the covers
with some underling
under a sheet like a ghost
dressed for
trick or treating
Jonesing for some lonely hearts grab bag
searching for the sweetness
relying on
the naughty tart
that I have perfected
and the multi-colored rainbow ball
spins on my laptop
fucking up my world
I give it the weight of gold bullion
and the wounds
of my
endangered species
© 2013


  1. Mitch · October 17, 2013

    Ballistic……. Mind blowing!!! ~x~ shot from the heart.

    • lkthayer · October 17, 2013

      I adore you Mitch!! Thank you darling XXX

      Sent from my iPhone


  2. adeshkaur · October 17, 2013

    FRICKIN A… Lisa. This is a knock out right to my heart. You’ve written some killer poems, but this one is breath-taking. Wow! Love it and that photo and you. Perfection.

    • lkthayer · October 17, 2013

      Love you Bambi/Adesh thank you my dear!!

      Sent from my iPhone


  3. Julie D · October 17, 2013

    Yes, baby! There’s my mind-fuck girl. Missed you. That was amazing. Love.

    • lkthayer · October 19, 2013

      Thanks Julie, love & miss you girl!!

  4. Alexis Rhone Fancher · October 17, 2013


    • lkthayer · October 17, 2013

      That means a lot coming from you Alexis, love you!

      Sent from my iPhone


  5. Ross Karen · October 18, 2013

    So powerful and touching. “The family shrapnel blew into tiny hands” is one of most profound sentence’s ever.

    • lkthayer · October 19, 2013

      Oh, Karen bless you, love you!

  6. Neda · October 18, 2013

    So eloquent, powerful and moving. Ever word became a painting in my mind.

    • lkthayer · October 19, 2013

      Thank you dearest love Neda!

  7. Joel Shearer · October 19, 2013

    My absolute favorite from you Lisa!!! I pressed rewind quite a few times on this one!!! Thank you!

    • lkthayer · October 20, 2013

      Thank you dear Joel, miss you in Jack’s class!!

  8. Susan Hayden · October 25, 2013

    Honestly brutal, no hiding, but from you I’d expect nothing less.
    xSH (the scarecrow)

    • lkthayer · November 8, 2013

      Thank you my dear Susan (scarecrow) I love you.

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