chutes & ladders by michael o’brien

a scar on my gut
up my chest
making a line
towards my mouth

mother shoots
xanax moonbeans
at dead cows
in the ditches
of delaware hi-ways
all approved
all endorsed

the scar changes
its course
and makes an
outline of

mother says
i love you
should be a
good enough
reason for
a son to live
Michael O’Brien lives in Galway, Ireland. His work has appeared in Blue and Yellow dog, Shamrock, Have U Seen My Whale Press, Otoliths, Lyrical Passion, Phantom Kangaroo, In Between Altered States, et al. He was a runner-up in the Mainichi Daily News Haiku Contest (Japan) in 2009.