Poetry Information

My Final Defeat - Fixed Competition


She probably can't remember
and I know I can never forget...
the first time I saw her like that
I was only nine years-old
not naive by any stretch
having seen my share of tragedy-
my parent's bitter battles in my first five years of life
then the inevitable end of their marriage
but not before 700 days of devastation called divorce
that destroyed dreams and deeply damaged hearts
I had no idea life could get worse...

But it did -

The day I found her passed out cold on the living room floor
I thought she was sleeping at first
In fact I swore she was just sound asleep
to my petrified little sister
whose big brown eyes screamed with fear
at the site of the lifeless body of our mommy
slobber dribbling out of the corner of her mouth
soaking her cheek below the dirt of her eye makeup
that trickled down her sallow skin on a face
devoid of any expression...

Is mommy dead?
a little voice whimpered
my sister weeped

My gut said Yeah she's dead as a doornail

Thankfully my words said No No she's not dead
as I carried my trembling, tiny sibling upstairs
and tucked her in bed with my promise
that Mommy would wake up in the morning...
as I wondered What if she didn't?

Little did I know I would wonder again and again
for the next 20 years
who I would see when I came home from school...
my real mom - you know her - the sober, sophisticated lady -
or would I find that ugly, evil spirit
lurking within my mommy's body again?

I loathed that demon who called me nasty names
and didn't cook dinner or do laundry
I wanted to murder the monster that growled at me
slurring words, throwing things and
staggering through our house...

So confused, embarassed, shocked, and dazed
by how my mommy would really be two people

But I learned early -

Never ask questions...
about anything at all
Never tell...
anyone - not a soul
Never complain about the awful monster
for fear that it would take my real mommy away forever
Never trust anyone or even my tomorrows...
since nobody ever knew if the evil demon would be back
Never feel anything...
because it was easier to become completely numb
than to endure the endless pain and loss day after day...

When I got older, I thought I could deal better
but looking back now I know I was wrong...
It didn't get easier, I just became paralyzed
behind the protective wall I built to be safe from her...

Nobody ever met the first boy I went on a date with
neither parent even knew his name
much less what kind of car I hopped into
or where we were supposed to be going...
Because my dad wasn't around and she was drunk
and I was ashamed, so I stood by the front door
waiting for Tommy's car to come down my street
and as soon as I saw it, I barged out the door
raced across the front porch, skipped the steps,
barely letting my feet touch the curb before
I bounced into his Chevy with my gleaming smile
that everyone knew me for -

The radiant face with the perpetually beaming smile
that I faked so often, it almost felt real...
My cheerful facade created to disguise
my actual agony and untold twisted torture

Today at 30 years-old, I have perfected my mysterious mask
as I cower behind my forced, dazzling smile
and feigned nature of blissful peace and normalcy

Nobody ever gets even a glimpse
of the real me - tormented by childhood memories
tossing and turning in my bed every night,
haunted by frantic flashes of bad dreams,
reeling in faithless feelings, lingering self-doubt, desolate disbelief, hopelessly

searching...
for explanations, answers
to my questions that haven't changed in 20 years...

But anything close to understanding
seems to escape my emotional grasp
eternally eluding my ravished, raging mind
and sense of reason and logic...

I surrended myself to a continual, compulsive scramble
through a menacing maze of misconceptions
that I perpetuate with my naive expectations
for a miracle to magically reveal a meaningful response
to my endlessly, impossible questions...

If I could just find...
A solitary reason why
my mother has continued to choose alcohol over me
for more than 25 years...
Or a single clue to explain how
I can compete for her love when
my opponent is a lifeless, speechless, emotionless
loyal bottle of vodka...

Resource Box - © Danielle Hollister (2004) is the Publisher of BellaOnline Quotations Zine - A free newsletter for quote lovers featuring more than 10,000 quotations in dozens of categories like - love, friendship, children, inspiration, success, wisdom, family, life, and many more. Read it online at - http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8364.asp


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


PBS NewsHour

How poetry can help kids turn a fear of literature into love | PBS ...
PBS NewsHour
Literature can be daunting for some young people, so how can we create a culture of avid readers? Poetry can be a non-threatening alternative introduction for fledgling bibliophiles, giving them more “white space” on a page without losing narrative ...

and more »


Chicago Tribune

Notable poetry of 2017
Chicago Tribune
For the fifth consecutive year, a gathering of some poetry that caught my ear in the preceding twelvemonth — not the “best,” not even necessarily my favorites (the only reason Anthony Madrid's “Try Never” isn't here is that he's a friend). Just some ...



Huntington Herald Dispatch

MU professor Chavez to sign new poetry collection at Empire Books
Huntington Herald Dispatch
HUNTINGTON - Locally based poet Sarah Chavez will sign copies of her latest poetry book, "Hands That Break and Scar," from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at Empire Books & News at Pullman Square. A mestiza born and raised in the California Central ...



KHOU

Kids use poetry to cope with life after Harvey
KHOU
Kids use poetry to cope with life after Harvey. Error loading player: No playable sources found. For many children, it's been difficult to express their emotions about the hardships linked to Hurricane Harvey -- and how the storm changed their lives ...



NPR

Poetry's Not Dead, And Here Are Books To Help Appreciate It
NPR
And in response, books are published about how to bring poetry back to life or how to better appreciate it. Well, Tess read this year's crop so that you don't have to. TESS TAYLOR, BYLINE: As it turns out, the best books about loving poetry this year ...



The Missoulian

Missoula kids share special places with poetry, map
The Missoulian
Missoula Writing Collaborative Executive Director Caroline Patterson works with area schools to teach poetry. While applying for grants to support the effort, she was trying to think of a new way to engage students and tapped into her personal ...



Irish Times

2017: A stellar year for new poetry
Irish Times
But, fascinating as it was to pore over the bits and bobs of the Yeats auction catalogues, there were more consequential events in 2017, which was a stellar year for new poetry. Books by Tara Bergin, Sinéad Morrissey, Leontia Flynn and Michael Longley ...



San Francisco Chronicle

State Lines: California poetry: Susan Gubernat's 'Christmas Fires'
San Francisco Chronicle
Holiday poems are hard to find, maybe because poets favor subjects that offer more ambiguity and nuance. In “Christmas Fires” however, Susan Gubernat embraces the sort of ambiguity I'm thinking about. Here we find all the details we might expect in a ...



Olean Times Herald

Olean High School students come out of shells with Poetry Out Loud competition
Olean Times Herald
Poetry Out Loud involves more than 3 million students and 50,000 teachers from approximately 10,000 schools. All three OHS finalists, which also included Natalie Sova, earned gift cards to Barnes & Noble thanks to a contribution from the Olean City ...



Philly.com

Longtime editor of American Poetry Review, 'the Poetry Don' dies at 68
Philly.com
On a tip from Norman O. Brown, the late philosopher under whom Mr. Bonanno studied at Wesleyan University, he pursued a job in 1973 at the year-old American Poetry Review shortly after graduation. Mr. Bonanno was young but made an impression on the ...


Google News

home | site map | Art of the Ocean
© 2006