Patty Kinney

How To Talk To Your Schizophrenic Child

Would you like to swing on a star?
Carry moonbeams home in a jar?
– Burl Ives

Point to the Big Dipper
Ask them which star they are?
Explain therapists cannot function
without their wisdom, expertise
Repeat the term Ordinary Genius
sewing it into eyelids
agree it’s okay to Google
your silhouette,
shoplift a shovel,
duct tape thrift store shoes you use
to walk on water

Of course you are Jesus
heart on fire
lit by the tip of a match
and those traffic cameras
are watching, making movies
renaming you through
every intersection sending
CliffsNotes to the CIA

fly your flag
that middle finger
at those aliens who abducted
you last night
but next time they come
tell them to rinse
the chili from the pan.

Intervention is just a jigsaw
dismantled before we find
the last piece

In reality
you’re a wives’ tale
in high def
freight train
waiting to be jumped
carrying toxic waste, nerve gas, the sting of
salt in a new tattoo of
you and you and you.


“How To Talk To Your Schizophrenic Child” appears in the latest issue of Crab Creek Review.


Patty Kinney has been published in The Sun, hipMama, Poetry Motel, Mamaphonic, Poets On The Coast – as well other journals and anthologies online and in print.  She is a recent graduate of the Artist Trust Edge Program for Writers and is very active in the Olympia Poetry Community. She regularly reads at the Olympia Poetry Network’s monthly readings.

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