Touch

Laurie Goldie

Touch

pick me up mum
hands clawing and grabbing and tickling
tits that haven’t fed them in years but still they lay claim
targeting nipples through clothes with terrifying accuracy
relentless squeezing and twisting of skin
fingers digging into that tender hollow of the collarbone as they drift off for a nap
nipping the soft fruit skin inside the arm until minute bruises form
pick ME up mum
hands pulling up my top to blow raspberries on a stomach
funny at first then just invasive and wet
[stop that
i don’t like that
get off me get off me get off me]
but then i’m the bad one, bad mum
set firm boundaries they say, essential self care
try setting them with toddlers for whom your body is an extension of theirs
finally the touching stops, admits defeat, goes to bed
and i breathe, check myself, regret those things that i said
a switch from mother to lover, met with a warm embrace
makes me flinch, makes me prickle, it’s all over my face
i’m sorry, don’t touch me,
i love you, i say
i love you, don’t touch me
i’ve had too much today