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(caution: strong words and imagery below)

His knuckles white, while drawing thread
through cloth contrasting with the red.
His hands remembered pain, caressed
by shadowed past, what Momma said:

“Now listen here, this is a mess!
You’re fucking stupid, have no sense
to do it right. Give me your hands!
It’s time you worked with some finesse!”

He hated her for those demands,
e’en though the whys he understands.
But harder still to contemplate:
She loved to hammer on his hands.

He had one friend, akin by fate
who’d killed his m by strychnined hate
while he took his by butchers knife.
That friend? You know him. Norman Bates.

Mom was his first, and then his wife,
beginner’s mess with trembling knife.
His art was practiced, now complete.
He made his living taking life.

His handiwork out on the street,
unknown by most save paddy’s feet,
the parents lost by ransom note,
and visitors at graveyards’ meet.

He travels place to place remote
to choke a child by tender throat
and work the hair with craft supplies
and cloth from last one’s nuded coat.

Embroidering the note, he cries,
full knowing that the ransom lies.
He prides his skill, yet feels the dread
of mother’s scorn while victim dies.

His knuckles white while drawing thread
through skin contrasting with the red.
And while he toils, he fears the dread
of mother’s scorn and hammer head.