July 23, 2015 Comments Off on Motherly Love By Michelle Wong
My mother bought a chicken.
She hacked it to pieces.
She served it to us,
It was all gristle, and no flesh.
We chewed and chewed and chewed.
After a while, we stopped chewing.
It was then that she started hacking us to pieces instead.
My mother got herself a boy toy. He was all bone, and no flesh. He never once said the words I love you, but waited for it to be said to him instead. My mother spoilt him plenty. She gave him a necklace that glistened on his neck like the river of a small country. She gave him love-bites; she gave him money. She gave him pieces of her heart, which he pocketed, and lost. She even fed him chicken, in small pieces. Or perhaps it wasn’t chicken, but us — we can no longer tell. He ate them, of course. He was always hungry. Perhaps that’s what happens to you when you date our mother: you are always hungry.
My father, he tried to put us back together, piece by piece, but like the chicken, we were no longer whole. We split again and again, flesh from bone, and bone from gristle, along the dotted line, where the blade had grazed us. Our heads bounced off our elbows and our ankles, yet still, he persisted. It was his after-dinner hobby. It was more challenging than Sudoku and more therapeutic than Tai Chi. He loved us, he insisted, but his love was useless.
My mother bought a chicken, and another, and another. She had a daughter, then another, and another. She named them after various saints and sluts: Teresa, Jezebel, Salome, Maria. She called them chicken, my little chick peas. She would pull down her top to let us suck at her boobs, but before we could do so, her gaze would land on us, full of punishment and love. We looked at her from the safety of our deaths, thinking don’t, but still, she loved us, and her love was like a blade, strong and steady.
© 2015 Michelle Wong
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh and of City University Hong Kong, Michelle Wong is Hong Kong born and bred, apart from five years in windy but lovely Scotland. She has previously worked as a teacher, as a copywriter, and as a reporter. Her favourite form is the short story, with a side interest in flash fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys drawing comics, exploring the intricacies of neuroscience, and attempting to cook without the kitchen catching fire.