by Joanna Gilman Hyde

The Tomato-coloured Couch 9:13pm

He stole That Moment, Bastard

My Daughter was in Her Second Summer

when She waved Good-bye

to a Friend I’ll never see again —

held in Her Father’s Arms

My Little Eliza

mouthed the words

uttering Them distinctly —

They were Two Words

I tried not to hear —

He bastardized that moment

in Her very early speech

as He peeled off

My Darling’s “See Ya!”

& caught Them in His too quick


Hand Over Those Words!

Let Me Use Them

as freely as You Do!

I want My Freedom Back

I’ll never get Eliza’s Moment

but I can try to have My Own

without Your constant reminder

even in a petty catch phrase

which seems to have gained in popularity

since I first heard You sing it out

when you were My Doctor

twenty-five years ago