Collective Unrest

 

Rosemary’s Lobotomy

February 20, 2019

After Rosemary Kennedy

“Darling Daddy,
I hate to disappoint you in any way.
Come to see me very soon.
I get very lonesome every day.”

Engulfed in tulle,
like a sprig of herb in a wedding bouquet,
she curtsied.

A stumble sideways, two seconds at most.
the crowd gasped.
The sprig of rosemary tied around her wrist
fell and rolled down the stone steps.

The nurse who delivered her
held the mother’s legs shut
to try and keep the child in,
she held the infant’s head in place
for seven-thousand and two-hundred seconds.

The instrument looked like a butter knife.
Rosemary carried Lilies of the Valley.
She had the flushed cheeks of a snow princess.

Deprived of oxygen, with such pressure
on the purple skin of a newborn skull,
Rosemary curdled; not much, but just enough.

The butter knife swung up and down, the procedure
“easier than curing a toothache,”
she recited Wordsworth and Milton
and then nothing at all.

“Darling Daddy,
I hate to disappoint you in any way.
Come to see me very soon.
I get very lonesome every day.”

 

* Italicized text lifted from a letter from Rosemary to her father

 

Erin Emily Ann Vance’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including Contemporary Verse 2 and filling station. Erin was a 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction. She will complete her MA in Creative Writing in August 2018 and begin a MA in Irish Folklore and Ethnology at University College Dublin in 2019. Erin’s debut novel. Advice for Amateur Beekeepers and Taxidermists will be published by Stonehouse Publishing in 2019.

Please follow and like us:
Newer Post

Two Poems

Hunger Cruise They ate the sea they drank the rocks the coasts fled no crabs in sight. Scattered clouds, like wounded coconuts kidnapped the moon that guided rafts. The rocks don’t shine, the sand ignited, the island engulfed in the…
Read
Older Post

Three Poems

TW for violence and murder from Lynda Ann Healy disappeared: 1/31/74 white female, 21, student, long dark hair, just his type. but you don't know me. i've got a backpack full of groceries and plans to cook for friends, last…
Read
Random Post

black shards

*TW for sexual assault  1/2 my sexuality has been invaded all my life that night especially that night I was torn I was ripped I was shattered black shards of glass,my eyes bleeding,achy after wet and cold and for some…
Read
Random Post

Kumari Trishna Shakya, Three-Year Old Living Goddess, Nepal

Little Miss Trishna with banyan tree body is selected as ruler today. She has the thighs of a deer, a soft duck voice, and a gold complexion displayed. Little Miss Trishna can’t eat what she wants or allow her skin…
Read
Random Post

Trump Baby I and II

CHICKEN BOT is an unknown artist who lives in an alternative reality with five taxidermist squirrels, a small bonsai named Steve and a group of potted plants who whisper life’s secrets to her each morning. In real life, Chicken Bot…
Read
Random Post

Pick Your Poison

“When it rains, it pours.” – Leslie Salt commercial Oy while a bomb cyclone pummeled New England, whipping the east coast with snow and bitter cold, waves crashed over sundry houses in Massachusetts. Boston had the highest tides in almost…
Read