Original Text

J. A Hamilton, Body Rain (Toronto: Brick Books, 1991): 13.

1This is a sensational poem.
2Avoid it.
3Think of a sweet pea.
4There are different sorts
5but this particular sweet pea is
6a pink sweet pea
8in a doctor's garden.
9Do you believe flowers are erotic?
10Do you believe in torture?
11This pink sweet pea
12is the sweet pea a soldier
13arresting the doctor
14grinds underfoot
15so it bleeds on the sole
16of his boot.


7] Chilean: under General Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship in Chile, from 1973 to 1990, thousands of men and women were secretly tortured, raped, and murdered. Among them was Dr. Sheila Cassidy, an English doctor who was arrested for treating an opponent of Pinochet's regime and tortured by the parilla (which passes electrical current through sensitive bodily orifices). She survived, and Audacity to Believe (1977) tells her story. Back to Line
17] ask for it: women who have been raped are sometimesaccused of "asking for it." Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
Special Copyright

© Jane Eaton Hamilton, from whom permission to republish must be obtained in writing.