Confession of a Lonely Giant

Confession of a Lonely Giant
Petra Rihan

his mother sang to the shore one night
his height not yet applicable to his personality
he bore down on you instead
with words strung together stodgily,
the result of toothache,
before she disappeared beneath the waves
he was about to complain
that his teeth stung

a year went by
motherless, the poor chap was,
a tooth fell out
and with it came an inch of height.

12 pages in the calendar passed,
his shoes didn’t fit quite right,
his trousers felt far too tight,
a tooth again, all fairies too busy for collection.

365 days,
he was large for his age,
with every candle he didn’t blow,
another tooth left on his pillow,
bloody and rotten and caked in gunk,
he found it hard to speak.

52,143 weeks,
tears slid down from his cheeks and
a tooth from his mouth.
giftless, empty handed, no balloon in sight,
on his list was a toothbrush,
for which he was not given,
no shoes had fit,
he stuck with barefoot .

another 6 years was another 6 teeth,
he hadn’t spoken for an endless time,
no things to say, no things to mime,
an empty mouth led to an empty head,
no words were there to be said,
and it had been long since he’d fit in his bed.

but one cold morning,
another tooth fell out,
and for the first time since his mother died,
he began to speak,
first of course was the gibberish,
because really he couldn’t remember English
but slowly and surely sentences were said.
a cutting from a magazine,
a sign on a shed,
for what words could he have known,
to name what he felt,
because indeed all he knew,
was how to be toothless.

another year went by,
he read the whole dictionary,
he took up too much space and
he felt too large for this place,
too big for his shoes,
his mouth would still ooze,
all his teeth he had left,
he could count on one hand.

but finally he’d found
what he wanted to say.
he shouted it loud, for the ocean to survey,
“I miss my mother” is what he conveyed.

and after that day, the years that went by,
no tooth fell from his mouth,
he learnt to speak and shout,
and for that,
he was quite proud.