no car crash, no orphan, no suicide, no mourning, no cat-o-nine tails

I remember once,
when I think I must have been
about 10,
and me and my daddy and my mother
were off
some stupid camping trip
probably Maine or Canada,
and we were in the '59 Plymouth,
a big-ass boat of a station wagon,
and I was in the backseat;

and they had been arguing
about who knows what,
and screaming at each other
as loud as they could,
and daddy came to stop sign,
and he said,
"Ricky, get out of the car."

and my mother screamed,
"No, Ricky don't move!
If you get out of the car,
he will drive this car into
those trees, and kill us,
and then you will be an

and so, as I would do so many times
in my life, I took my mother's advice,
and I stayed put,
and life, somehow
went on;

and I remember another time,
when I was about 13 or 14,
and although I don't remember
the cause,
I remember my mother being
on the phone with my daddy,
who was working at the time
on Nantucket Island,
as she and I stood in the living room,
me, with a carving knife,
ten inches long,
pointed at my belly;

somehow, daddy talked me down
from that ledge,
and life went on;

I remember,
just a year or so ago,
how I reminded my mother
about her use
of the cat-o-nine tails
(for those of you unfamiliar,
it is a leather strop, with nine
separate tines, to inflict
maximum damage)
and she said,
"I do not remember any such thing."
and it was then, that I realized
that she had inherited it
from my Nana, whom I loved,
and that realization
nearly made my head explode:
all that I had ever known,
relied upon,
felt secure with,
was a lie;

and so,
a nitwit,
soon to be forgotten poet,
with a story but not much talent,
had his early years formed.

October 23, 2010.

Copyright © 2010, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

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