Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Tatiana Papers 4

Among several loose folders of my mom's is one titled "Zoe's Poems." There isn't much in there, a manuscript, a few decent poems I shared with her in my mid twenties, my college senior thesis poetry project, and another bundle of poems I must have sent her during my early years in college, a bundle of bad poems, total squirm-worthy dreck. But in that bundle was the poem below, a silly rhyming poem, a poem I probably shouldn't show anyone. A poem that seems to be written by a nine year old, not a nineteen year old.

I don't remember writing it, so its existence is a pretty major element of surprise for me. It seems more like something that could be a kids book of some sort, sans cigarette smoke.

Since Mother's Day just passed it seems appropriate to share this little light on long ago (and my writing has matured vastly since then, really! I am including an image of another poem that was in the folder that I wrote in my early 20's).

"What is that child up to now?"
She must wonder
As I scamper from room to room
As a pout scars my face of gloom
As I shut my bedroom door
Search through every cabinet and drawer
And open all the closet doors
As I plop down on the living room chair
And my silly smirk paints the air

"She's going to harm herself!"
She must believe
As cigarette smoke dances in front of her nose
As I stand upon the kitchen chair
One foot balanced on a pile of books and pillows
As I try to reach that shelf so high
And strain a muscle in my upper thigh
As I push my food away
Always muttering, "not today."
And I do this every day
As I speed from one lane to the other
"Slow down!"
                "Oh mother!"

"She doesn't love me. . . "
She must think
After I slam a door right in her face
Or walk in front of her at a faster pace
Or I smart talk with a tongue so cruel
Always looking for a duel
Or I tell her I'm going to college a week too soon
"She'll probably kill herself, that crazy goon!"

But I do love my mother so
With eyes of soft almond glow
She's always brave and forever strong
In the long run rarely wrong
She's beautiful and so very giving
She makes my life one worth living

I just wish she'd understand
I need my independence at hand
By not yielding to her warnings, I mean no offense
I'm just trying to learn from experience
Because sometimes
A lesson taught by the experience earned
Is really the only lesson learned. . . 

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