Backlash by Name
after Nina Simone
by Kevin Higgins, with image by Martin Gollan
The moment you grow too sure
he sends the world into reverse;
one by one, begins taking back
your Christmas presents and keeps
taking until you have less
than you had December the first,
the year you were born.
He stuffs you into the boot of a car
and drives you
backward many miles until you’re further
from your destination than you were
the day you started out.
He gives you back
all your illnesses at once
but lets you keep the side-effects
of the poison that was going to fix you.
He rents a skip for outside
what was once your house;
lets local children put you
and your opinion
of yourself in it.
He makes your mother
drag herself up out of her grave
and bang the table
as she tells the committee, no
she never heard of you.
Kevin Higgins is a Galway-based poet, essayist and reviewer, and satirist-in-residence at the alternative literature site The Bogman's Cannon, www.bogmanscannon.com.