The sickly stomach heat
of inescapable guilt
pushes me through the door,

brick in belly, heart on sleeve,
succulent hors d’oeuvres for
ravenous vultures waiting

to cannibalise with freshly
sharpened fangs and claws.
My head bowed beneath

their paradisiac pretense of
a joyous reunion, plastered
with counterfeit smiles.

Sticky sweet, sugar-coated
venom swathed in crystal
candy dish, cloying lies

poured in naïve ears as song
—King Claudius poison
And I, the mad prince.

Accusatory glances thrown
like stones across the room
at the Prodigal’s return.

Give us a kiss farewell,
then, my sweet meat,
until next year’s feast.




V.C. McCabe Author Pic

V.C. McCabe’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Poet Lore,
Prairie Schooner, The Minnesota Review, Tar River Poetry, Spillway,
Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Entropy, and elsewhere. She has lived in Ireland
and West Virginia.