Wild child.
Never mild child.
Shut the fuck up child.

Golden child. Scapegoat child—after while
—go to therapy child. What do you know,

child? After a while you don’t smile.
You hiding somethin’ child.

Make me laugh, child.
Why “doesn’t you love me” child?
Trump country child. Stay a while.

Sister suicide child. Suspect child. Invisible
child. Should have been you to die, child.

Don’t protest child. Liar child.
Ungrateful child. Don’t know what we did wrong, child. Go to bed child. Night terrors

Sleep study child. Never mild.
Never mind.

Never mine,


Selected byRaymond Hufffman
Image credit:Mimzy

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer who reads and writes voraciously in the quiet moments between motherhood and managing Crohn's Disease. She was a 2023 winner for Button Poetry's short form contest, and her short story Eugene was nominated for a pushcart prize in 2022 by Dead Skunk Mag. Her most recent poetry has appeared in 3Elements Review, River Teeth Journal, Blood Tree Literature, and elsewhere. Her poetry books, "Strange Beauty" and "Summer Storms" are available on Amazon, and her most recent chapbook, "Smile, Child" is available from Bottlecap Press.