Bowled Over

As I walk them home from school
Sneaky Camouflage and Brave Barry
train for The Big Fight, dangling
from fence railings and fake-kicking
brick walls in their black Mary Janes.
They’re going to swap summer uniforms
for shorts and T-shirts; all I need
is a fight name and an accent.
Sneaky Camouflage speaks
in a higher pitch and slightly faster
than usual which makes me think
she doesn’t know what an accent is.
She’s never even seen a martial arts flick.
I ask, Who are you two fighting?
and they shriek in unison: Parents!
How hard can it be for these pint-sized
wonders to take a mother down?
I’m already weak in the knees
and they haven’t started to let it fly.



Lara Frankena won second prize in the 2020 Slipstream Poet’s Open Poetry Competition and was longlisted for the 2021 Erbacce Prize. Her poems have appeared in publications such as Poetry News, The Butcher’s Dog and PEN International Magazine.