If only I had known
How tough it would be
to be jump-started daily
by a vacuum cleaner hose
Cracked over my legs
And Mom’s shrill tones
Frantic, I fall out of bed
still shaking and sweating
ice from being locked up
Alone, last night in the attic.
Hope crystallizes and evaporates
I love yous and hugs do not exist
Only the verbal machete, punctuated
by blows from my own baseball bat.
While somewhere, laughter echoes from
A joke only I could not grasp.
At school, peer pressure dealt me
another nerve-grating punch
Piercing and curious eyes surveyed me
But I said nothing, so they did not see.
I was left fated to search faces
for warmth, compassion,
Or the answer to Why?
I have no idea
what I have done
Or how to alter my face,
Voice, laugh, cheekbones,
Interests and friends –
Everything you despise.
If only I had known how
Hard living this life would be.
Terry Gibson 2012.
This poem was originally entitled “Fourteen” for my age at the time.
Which do you like better? Please leave a comment. Thanks so much!
To view comments on Gather click here