I watch for my uncles to come in from the fields,
The three of them, big-shouldered men in overalls.
Their bare necks are streaked with dirt and sweat
Which I want to lick when they pick me up.
They are so warm and strong; they smell of summer:
The dark odor of horses, the dry green smell
Of tomato plants, the tan smell of loam.
They taste male and I can't get enough of that.
They also talk male. Everyone else calls me Teddy
Or Little Benny, after my father, who doesn't pick me up;
They call me "You bondit," which is Yiddish for rascal,
Or Butch McDevitt, which makes me feel like a cowboy.
When my uncle Moish puts Brownie in the stable,
He says, "Get in there, you son of a bitch."
Son of a bitch. I say it over and over after that,
When I rake the chicken yard, shuck the corn.
It's not a bad word anymore. Son of a bitch:
It's what men say when they re strong and happy
Because they have something hard to do.