not nice to say

and not angst, because it’s not
sometimes you just gotta be brave, stupid as that is

          does pain need a place to be pain
what was your first ever memory

          not in body, but in the outside scene
a grilled cheese sandwich seventy years ago

          walking west down the street, away
they called it Murphy’s Peak, just a big old tooth of a hill

          from grandmother’s house.   why there.
do you believe what you hear.   a ruckus noise.

          safe home, yes, but short arms length
now promise, at least six feet away, yes, upwind

          otherwise.   like.   a black lump of coal inside.
it was Christy’s house, lusted to be just outside the door.

          even wished for – is how black it was.
so this magician, he reaches all the ways in, pulls out another hat.

          children see the truth.   why didn’t I.
lay your young hands upon the radio.   listen.   believe.

          but I knew a child would see it in me.
stand to the side, they are bigger than you.

          age what, maybe ten.   decided
we built a fence.   OK.   it was a wall.   no permit.

          no children allowed in my life.
crazy-cat, that was her name.   the very first one, ever.

          because I couldn’t explain.
laid out end to end, starting here.   how long is a memory.

          I wouldn’t dare.

should have remembered all of it.   to tell the truth.
unless you enclose a space on all sides of that space,
then it can be said the space goes on forever, which
is a whole big heck of a lot.   I’m exhausted.

then we ask, so how many spaces can there be.

is that a good question, you think.

it’s a mouthful, I apologize

no children were harmed in the making of this poem
we’ll call it fingers interlaced, if you like

4 thoughts on “not nice to say

  1. A good poem teaches you how to read it as it goes along and your poem does this. During the first read, I didn’t quite get all the moving parts, but I realized I needed to dissect it a bit. I read it as two separate poems, the italic words and then the rest. Then, when I read it again, I saw the beauty of the connection. The past explains the present. The child informs the adult. It’s sad how you made that decision because you didn’t think you could explain your darkness, but also brave. My favorite line is “children see the truth. why didn’t I.” Wow.

    I also really, really love this part:
    “unless you enclose a space on all sides of that space,
    then it can be said the space goes on forever, which
    is a whole big heck of a lot. ”
    Memory, space, time. It’s so big.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bridgette, well said. I’m more seat of the pants, just seem to sense what to do, if couldn’t tell you first why. As you said first line of yours – helpful for me to see. A common enough spider trap I think – how could the adults leave me to my dark thoughts, but too, why didn’t I say aloud. Nasty. Most insight for me in writing – I did know children could see the truth of me – but why didn’t I as well, even to see the trap itself. Didn’t make that connect till writing it.


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