Magazine | December 18, 2017, Issue

Poetry

THE ‘F’ WORD

My mother would withhold from me most news,

Because my constant questions — like a plague

Of locusts — flew at her, till she would lose

Her patience, as I lost mine with the vague.

Forgotten, even when I over-think,

Are times I forced some awkward situation –

But one day, drying dishes at the sink,

I voiced the rudest term for copulation.

She labored to my left, aloof and cool,

And deftly swept the plates with suds, to pour

With style, while I stood upon a stool,

About the fragile age of five or four.

Where I first heard the word did not perplex.

We lived among bold soldiers on a base

Where daily she was “praised” for her fair sex.

She dropped a dish — a rare retreat from grace.

The two of us paused stiffly at our task,

The kitchen atmosphere around us dim,

As doubtless she thought, “Did you have to ask?”

And doubtless also cursed, resenting him.

The climax to the scene, I can’t recall;

But just that sudden fracture of the plate.

But only shame, with shock, I could appall –

By one small sound — the powerful and great.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Rise to Global Power

Robert Merry sets out to revive William McKinley’s middling reputation by recognizing the 25th president as the shrewd, unheralded father of the military-commercial expansionism that underwrote America’s global ...

Sections

Letters

Letters

What Does NAFTA Do? Kevin D. Williamson’s fulsome praise of NAFTA (“What NAFTA Does,” November 13) notwithstanding, the primary goal of NAFTA is to provide American manufacturers with unfettered access to ...
The Week

The Week

‐ “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, women want me to feel them up while they’re sleeping on airplanes.” ‐ Roy Moore, Republican candidate in a special election ...
Poetry

Poetry

THE ‘F’ WORD My mother would withhold from me most news, Because my constant questions — like a plague Of locusts — flew at her, till she would lose Her patience, as I lost ...
Happy Warrior

The Bed Menace

‘Opinion: If you let boys be boys, they will murder their fathers and sleep with their mothers,” ran a tweet from the New York Times the other day.

Most Popular

Elections

The 24 Democrats

Every presidential primary ends with one winner and a lot of losers. Some might argue that one or two once-little-known candidates who overperform low expectations get to enjoy a form of moral victory. (Ben Carson and Rick Perry might be happy how the 2016 cycle ended, with both taking roles in Trump’s cabinet. ... Read More