Trying to make our mother mad,
the first deeds that we do are Bad.
Like Cain nursing a matted head,
the first deeds that we did were Bad.
Like a skunk facing its own stink,
Bad confronts itself with Bad
Like strychnine blobs in the primordial soup,
Bad multiplies to make more Bad
And I’ve shouted at my kids again –
I’ll flagellate myself to feel more Bad
So my soul is dull with black ice,
Bad papered over with more Bad.
And, without a frame of reference, Bad
is only, by its nature, Bad
And when the frame dissolves, Bad fills
the space that’s left with still more Bad.
And I don’t know what to do with you,
filling my head with all this Bad
So I’ll leave you in the kitchen sink
where all the dishes have gone Bad.
Jo-Ella Sarich has practised as a lawyer for a number of years, recently returning to poetry after a long hiatus. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Verse News, Tuck magazine, The Galway Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, takahē magazine and the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017.