small southern town
Norman Rockwell setting
picket fences
the whole bit
ideal for raising a family
good smells coming from kitchen
baking and cooking
no air conditioning
somehow we survived
neighbors friendly
ready to lend a helping hand if needed
sit with the sick
pitch in a hundred different ways
thus was the disposition
of my small southern town

sounds too good to be true
huh
it was
at least for me

I was never hungry
always had clean clothes to wear
sometimes handmade
still . . .
they were clean
I also had a mother
who should never have been a mother
my childhood
one long terror-induced affair
beat down at every turn
physically
mentally too
you can be anything you want to be
she used to say
what she meant was
I could be anything I wanted to be
as long as it was what she wanted me to be
I went to school
bearing beating marks
no one said anything
that made it worse
them looking right through me
I was ashamed
thought they were sniggering behind my back
I think they were

ah
it has been so long
why not just let it go
people say
can’t do that
damaged for life

©December 3, 2010 / Jerry Pat Bolton

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