Pheromones, free verse by @jackaurquhart

©2014 by Jack A. Urquhart

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Is it ‘cause of them?”
my daughter asked,
setting aside her dolls,
her Pretty Ponies
with their rainbow manes.
Those fairymoans?” she stammered,
wide eyes the color
of sunset canyons.
“Is that why—
why you want to be
with him?”

Embarrassed, unrehearsed
for sudden exposure,
I must’ve betrayed myself
by patronizing smile.
Because she cocked her head,
assumed an I’m-not-a-baby
arms akimbo stance.

“Mom says so!” she blurted,
pitching me a sideways glance.
“Mom says you can’t help it,
that it’s a magic spell—
those fairymoans,”
my daughter flared.
“Says they make you come running.
Just like a puppy dog.”

Shocked by her savvy,
I must’ve barked in response:
Do you even know what that means?
Because she came to me then,
shoulders squared to the burden.
“ ‘Course I do,” my daughter sighed,
squirming into my lap,
not such a big girl anymore.
“It’s ‘cause they have a bad hurting inside,”
she said, eyes brimming at the notion:
“those fairies.”

This was long ago,
but I remember I wanted to cry.
Yes, that’s right, I think I said instead.
Some of them do.

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About jaurquhart

Jack Andrew Urquhart was born in the American South. Following undergraduate work at the University of Florida, Gainesville, he taught in Florida's public schools. He earned a Master of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he was the winner of the Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Award for Fiction (1991). His work has appeared online at Clapboard House Literary Journal, Crazyhorse Literary Journal, and Standards: The International Journal of Multicultural Studies. He is the author of So They Say, a collection of self-contained, inter-connected stories and the short story, They Say You Can Stop Yourself Breathing. Formerly a writing instructor at the University of Colorado’s Writing Program, Mr. Urquhart was, until 2010, a senior analyst for the Judicial Branch of California. He resides in southern California.
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One Response to Pheromones, free verse by @jackaurquhart

  1. Another beautiful, poignant piece, Jack. I love your poetry.

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