Three Lullabies (after 'Ooh La La' by the Ditty Bops)

by Kirsty Logan

Q: What brought the house down?


I.               the fighting, the fists

A.              when she was a girl her momma hiked her poppa up onto the roof (one leg on each side of the shingles, shoes thumping in the wind, eyes stuck open to the sky) and she knows that's the natural place of a man, above everything, closest to god, eyes slowly filling with rain.

B.              he wore her clothes and that was what did it, the stretched-out shoulders of her sunday dresses, the shirred cotton loose around her hips. she could handle chest-hairs on the soap but not in the seams of her belly-tops. even now the tlak-tlak of heels on kitchen tile makes her jaw crack.

II.             adventure with a jealous twist

A.              she was going to be a lady pilot because she couldn't just fly a plane, it had to be prefaced by 'lady', but then the sleepwalking and the tongue-choking and the shakes.

B.              she was going to be a lady doctor because that's a whole separate option on the form, not Miss or Mrs or even Ms, but the strings on the mask would not stretch wide enough.

C.             motherhood was the biggest adventure and though she did not pack her own luggage or book her own trip she could be convinced that this was the one she chose.

III.           desire for another's kiss

A.              the grass is always greener until it's covered up with sand, and gold is prettier — a soldier, she was thinking, because lust and war always come together before the credits roll.

B.              it was not teenage love any more but it could have been, it should have been.

1.               momma wanted to kiss a teenage boy, because she couldn't be a teenage girl but if the flesh was neat and clean then it's as good as.

2.               momma wanted to kiss everyone and she didn't give a damn who.

3.               momma wanted to kiss poppa most of all, but properly so that she could faint and still have her feet on the ground.


A: Being happier with more.