How It Was I Came To Be What I Am
[from early poems,1970's, youthful attempts at voice]
For 'Spider' Bottas
They would argue over tides
Who bade me come into the world.
One said, Six o'clock.
The other, No, twelve.
I was born at the thirteenth hour
All the while mother arguing,
This is not the time but a little spell,
While father argued it was death,
You are dying and your child, too,
Is dying. You have been poisoned.
It was full moon and high tide,
The hour of birth.
All arguments yielded to the tide's.
The moon lit up the stadium
Of their gripes while I was
Born amidst their sweeps at
Each other, the nurse neglecting
To wipe me free of blood and salt
Being drawn into their strife.
He was born at day, one said.
No, at night, and he is a she,
Said the other. The nurse,
Speaking truthfully, said,
Cleaning me at last, No,
You are both right. The child
Is he and she, a hermaphrodite
Born of two days labor, its head
Out of the womb the duration.
Ruination! father cried.
Fame, mother sighed.
Both right, the nurse agreed,
Of these fables are made.
Then father tossed me into the sea.
The nurse saved me who later
Became my lover, hiding my
Sexes with a four leaf clover.
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