MAYHEM - Issue Four

> Download Toddler in Motion

Loren Thomas

Toddler in Motion

I found you
under boxes of pills
and plasters.

You,
little girl.
Stare away.
The camera still
calls for you.

Candied afternoon sun
coddles,
melts to your
blushing shirt.

Look up
three year old.
Chubby bunny cheeks,
lipo-suctioned feet.

Watch out for prickles,
silent strangers
hidden in alleys
of bladed grass.

Be careful.
Sensitive skin
plagues you
20 years down the road.

They’ll stick you
full of dead animals,
line you with flesh.
Cognitive dissonance:

you’ll love puppies,
cows too.
But one is edible,
one is friend.

The female body
will be a mystery
until the blood stains
steal puberty tears.

That lady with
a pity smile lied.
You will not be beautiful,
but you won’t care.

Except for the sneers
from boys.
I just want to be your friend
not your mid-day lover.

Advice,
decades absent
best left in the toy box.

You can’t hear me
under the roof of
plastic and paper.

Baby,
you’re a goner.

Contributor's Note
Loren Thomas is a University of Waikato student currently working towards completing her masters. She has previously been published in Mayhem and Poetry New Zealand.