Plain faced

They didn’t tell me

I was born ordinary

I felt it, a prickle in my bones, growing

plain-faced, my father reminded me

“work on your personality”

my mother, beautiful, smart

didn’t understand how a child of hers

could struggle to spell

behind thick glasses and a lazy eye

then she packed up and left

we were making an art of being fragmented

the other kids had families, after-school-clubs

swing sets, puppies, they hung upside down

and even then, looked the part, white teeth

straight backs, glossy well brushed hair

as if they had read a script on how to be

(able to survive the world)

and knew all the secrets

they didn’t tell me why I didn’t fit in

it wasn’t autism, no label, no category

a box of unopened reasons sat

in a dirty suitcase

on my kitchen table from 6 to 14

I ate my breakfast cereal reading a comic

like every other plain faced girl

dreading Summer and the wearing of shorts

the development of freckles and tree houses

succor for outcasts

my best friend and I ate

sweets that rotted our teeth

in the boughs of tenements and crying cement

where tired-looking women who were

probably only 25, the lines of their labor

etched into thin skin, hung dirty laundry

to be further muddied by the belch

of a merciless bloated city

I always felt

wrong

like the cuckoo

planted in incorrect nest

and if that is how we thrive

as I heard the other day

“challenges help you grow”

then bugger that for a laugh

because I developed a desire to dig

down

deep into black wormy earth

where the molestation of days

could not find me with their rage

call me a coward

well you did, many times

your disappointment hotly apparent

on your puckered nicotine laced lips

it didn’t disuade me

I learned on the easel of rebellion

ran hard and fast as long as I could hold out

on piss and vinegar and the immutability of youth

it seemed then …

easier to say ‘make me’ than

save me

it seemed easier to fight futile battles

and lose ground

than see a future that never

seemed distinct

they called me a bad kid

and I ate it hungrily

with a swig of soda

tepid from sitting in hot sun

23 thoughts on “Plain faced

  1. Wow! this reads like a novel of sadness! So sorry for all the pain you were dealt as a child. Your images are perfect and vivid. Beautifully written! This line described it well…
    we were making an art of being fragmented

  2. Thank you dear one. My writing isn’t all autobiographic, it’s a mix-up but I so appreciate you reading and writing in response to anything I post. Since being ‘off’ WP, I notice less and less read and respond probably because you have to jump through an additional hoop and it really gladdens my heart when I see a comment or response – thank you for being so supportive I really appreciate that and you.

  3. Dear Nan thank you my friend from all these years for your kindest of re-blogs. Since being booted from WP and having to do it via this odd method, I have seen readership drop off precipitously because it’s just another hoop to jump through, so I really, really appreciate it when you read and respond to a post – thank you so much

  4. Dearest Bob, thank you for this re-blog, Since being booted from WP and having to do it via this odd method, I have seen readership drop off precipitously because it’s just another hoop to jump through, so I really, really appreciate it when you read and respond to a post – thank you so much

  5. I so appreciate you saying so! Since being booted from WP and having to do it via this odd method, I have seen readership drop off precipitously because it’s just another hoop to jump through, so I really, really appreciate it when you read and respond to a post – thank you so much

  6. You are welcome! I wondered if that might be the case! Your flow of words made me think it was coming from a place of expreience! And thank you for reading my posts as well.
    dwight

  7. I don’t mind doing so for writers I enjoy reading. I’m sorry to hear about your readership drop. You’re most welcome.

  8. I try to more and more, sometimes I can’t ‘like’ them because my stupid phone doesn’t let me like as my computer does, but I read you my friend xo

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