Manga Popart Butterfly

Manga Popart Butterfly

Sunday, September 4, 2016

My Mother

...was an uneducated barmaid
after my father died
when I was very young.
I basically raised myself
among always-drunk relatives
and their handsy old friends.
I wore rags & hand-me-downs
to school and
got one pair of shoes a year.

Summer was barefoot time...
and therefore pinworms from
walking where the mangy dogs
shit and pissed day after day.
That medicine was nasty.
Lunch was bologna sandwiches
devoured on the porch
with red kool-aid.

Grocery list:
beer, bread & bologna.

The heat was oppressive.

My siblings & I roamed all summer,
usually over the levee along
the Red River.
We stayed out past dark playing
kick the can.  Nobody called
us in to take a bath.
We usually slept dirty,
just washing our feet.

Mama's boyfriends
sometimes came over.
One had a truck & they
loaded the 3 of us in back of
the truck.  It was cold.
We had no coats
so we huddled
together to keep warm
as a drunk stranger drove
us through the frigid night.
I only recall cold & fear &
the sweet warmth of my
skinny sisters' bodies.

I miss the childhood I never had.


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