Yes, I locked up Guilt in the north barn stall.
Yes, I nailed a 2×4 across the latch
and tacked up rusty barbed wire.
Understand me. She arrived scratched
and naked, claiming she’d been raped,
her money gone on drugs. She claimed
she had no one but me.
She prefers going almost bare-assed.
I can’t stand her filthy hands,
bony butt and stringy hair. I gave
her wool socks, panties and a bra, red leather
boots, a velvet cape, a brush — no one else
has ever been so good. She says so!
She sat at my kitchen window watching
the level of my gin bottle — and looking
for bad guys out to get even.
She weighs my trash and hisses
at my cat. Her you’re-screwing-up mantra
points blame eight times. She hums like a cello
that bites and gripes in my bad ear at night.
She curdles my dreams. She claims I owe her
a hide-out. When I try to move her,
she vanishes — from that small stall.
Where to? Under the saddle blankets,
into the hay. Out of the way. I don’t know!
She needs little, impossibly little.
Yes, she nibbles fallen oats
like a rat at chicken scratch.
She licks drips from the eaves
and bathes in the goat trough.
I don’t know where Guilt is now,
how you heard she’s here,
or when she’s coming back.
This is NOT elder abuse. I’m doing
what any normal person would do.