Terror - Jemma Paek
‘Goodness me - she’s a terror’,
Said my mother to another mother in the schoolyard.
And they watched The Terror (Sophie Brown)
With parallel crossed arms and parallel straight faces
And that terrifying ennui of grown-ups
As she tore across the concrete, pigtails all a-bounce
Yelling and bellowing as her little lungs allowed
Stomping her t-barred feet as she ran.
Later, over a dinner of fish fingers and peas,
I asked my mother why she had called Sophie Brown
‘Well, she’s badly behaved. That’s why.
I’m glad you don’t act like that.’
I finished the fish fingers and left the peas
- Too hard to scoop with a fork -
And thought about the adult apathy on mummy’s face as she watched little Sophie Brown.
That scared me more than The Terror did.
The next day, as Sophie
Tantrumed anew across the yard,
And mother once again regarded her with disdainful indifference,
I joined her in amok.
I had decided that I wanted to be A Terror
They talk of hijacking and hostages
And growing old alone
And rising sea levels
And how smoking is carcinogenic
And all I can think about
As I stare at the screen
Terror of clicking submit