Our Mothers
Told us not to slope too far out open
windows or the devil would push us
to our deaths, then drag us to hell.

Scold us for going to bed with wet hair:
nightmare fishes and blindness. Under
towels we hid, rubbing our heads afire.

Warned us against gorging on custard
apples or duhat plums or cotton fruits,
which gave us the runs every time.

Spanked us with their coarse palms,
broom handles and bamboo paddles 
for our forgivable youthful trespasses.

Cursed us, therefore we learned how
to curse, blasphemy piercing through
our faint hearts, blossoming with fears.
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