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Little Boy Crying

LITTLE BOY CRYING

Your mouth contorting in brief spite and hurt,
your laughter metamorphosed into howls,
your frame so recently relaxed now tight
with three-year-old frustration, your bright eyes
swimming tears, splashing your bare feet,
you stand there angling for a moment’s hint
of guilt or sorrow for the quick slap struck.

The ogre towers above you, that grim giant,
empty of feeling, a colossal cruel,
soon victim of the tale’s conclusion, dead
at last. You hate him, you imagine
chopping clean the tree he’s scrambling down
or plotting deeper pits to trap him in.

You cannot understand, not yet,
the hurt your easy tears can scald him with,
nor guess the wavering hidden behind that mask.
This fierce man longs to lift you, curb your sadness
with piggy-back or bull-fight, anything,
but dare not ruin the lessons you should learn.

You must not make a plaything of the rain.


from I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2006), copyright© Mervyn Morris 2006, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

Recordings

Mervyn Morris Reading from his Poems

1On Holy Week, a sequence of poems for radio

2Examination Centre

3Muse

4Peelin Orange

5The Pond

6Mariners

7Valley Prince

8Dadd, Poor Dadd

9Tutorial

10Journey into the Interior

11Cave

12Windscreen

13Stripper

14Shadows

15Birthdays

16Literary Evening, Jamaica

17Toasting a Muse

18Gaffes

19To an Expatriate Friend

20To the Unknown Non-Combatant

21Grounation

22Cabal

23The Roaches

24Case-History, Jamaica

25Nursery

26Afro-Saxon

27For Consciousness

28Jamaica 1979

29Meeting

30Data

31Dreamtime

32Short Story

33Walk Good

34Moment of Truth

35Persephone

36Narcissus

37A Voyage

38The Lovers

39Critic

40Peacetime

41Family Pictures

42Sister

43Seen

44Connection

45Pussycat

46Version

47Memento

48In the Garden

49Eve

50Happy Hour

51Casanova

52North Coast Hotel

53Little Boy Crying

54Proposition One

55Togetherness

56Give T'anks

57Love Is

58There was a Young Poet

59Departure Lounge

60To a Crippled Schoolmaster

61The Day My Father Died

62Granny

63Hey, Ref!

64Outing

65Postcard

66Pre-Carnival Party

67Danse Macabre

68Diptych

69Garden

70Birthday Poem

71Terminal

72My Rodney Poem

73Historian

74Checking Out

75Palimpsest

76A Chant Against Death

Books & cds by Mervyn Morris