‘Re(pre)sent’ by Danielle Davey

My Babbles has a nasty knack

Of keeping monkeys on her back.


Her back is filled with ‘monkeys’ now

A tattooed memoir recording how

Those she knows have done her wrong

She wears these grudges all day long.


In actual fact, they do all vary

These ink pictures extraordinary

Their collective term pays tribute to

The first, original grudge tattoo.


A monkey with a face-wide grin

Recalls a small triumphant win –

Mother, always on her back,

Avenged by frenzied ape attack.


Pervading Babble’s upbringing

Dodging shit, then mud-slinging.

Ironic justice, mother at the zoo,

Was once the target of chimp-flung poo.


Indelible image (now indelible ink)

Babbles was then aged eight she thinks

Oblivious to the apt metaphor

The ape returned to what it did before.


In Babble’s mind the scene stayed vivid

Her mother’s face grotesquely livid

Still now, the day recalled plainly…

What did she have for evening tea?


NB:  Re(pre)sent received an Honourable Mention in the 2021 ‘Literary Taxidermy’ Competition, where entrants were invited to create a new work between the first and last lines of a poem by New Zealand author, Katherine Mansfield. You can read more about the experimental process of literary taxidermy here

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