Friday, March 5, 2010

For My Pretty Friend



The children of parents who swing
roll around town
and grow up banging their good brains
against the walls of the world we live in
While nighttime bed springs sang
the children sat in one room
with only each other and learning
the lessons that will make them very good drunks.
What makes mother and father
has broken down and
picking up fags and touching tongues
they stick out hips and laugh too loud
Growing up to paint their lips and
hide their hearts
The need for trust so keen
that one body cannot hold it
it trembles and stumbles inside them
their souls painted by Picasso
And in hand-me-down clothes
and broken down trailers
they protect and protect and protect.
I don't judge
I'm sure it seemed like a fine idea
at the time.

17 comments:

SJ said...

Ahh May, I do love you! I feel your words when you write.

May said...

I love you too, SJ!

Ms. Moon said...

Oh May! Is this now or is this history?

Steph(anie) said...

I swear I've been in that park. And famous last words, right? Seemed like a good idea... at the time.

Are you back from your trip?

Elizabeth said...

That's intense -- so much hidden and so much raw.

Angie Muresan said...

Oh, I know such parents, and I know such children. You write so beautifully!

May said...

Mama- There's a group of people around my age here in Tallahassee that grew up in the same neighborhood that this is about. They are all fiercely loyal to each other, and they all struggle in various ways. I guess we all do. I think about them a lot. One girl especially, so smart and so pretty and the world just does not fit. She doesn't give up though. They remind me of the Lost Boys.

Stephanie- Actually, my trip is in two weeks, I've just been sick. I'm better now, thank god. And I know, right? Famous last words.

Elizabeth- Thank you, it's a raw situation.

Angie- I think it's more common than we know. Funny how we never know what goes on in people's homes. These kids' situation was dark and hard, but I don't think all swingers' kids are exposed to it quite so much. I don't know how I feel about it, and I think that's why I think about them so much.

Mel said...

May, the words and the picture are very intense. Poor children, they are out there, aren't they? Your poem says so much, your comments even more. We hear there are similar goings on in the suburbs, kids marginally parented while their parents thrill seek and drink and divorce. It's beyond icky.
Did you mean the Lost Boys of Sudan?

Petit fleur said...

I'll go ahead and be judge... They suck as parents. SUCK.

I continue to see first hand what this does to children, and who they can turn into as adults... Usually beautiful, but forever tortured souls. It is not right and not fair, and it's not necessary. Sometimes we mess up as parents inadvertently... This is a choice, a very very bad choice for a parent.

I hope your friend(s) find the peace and trust they seek. Being your friend is a big step in the right direction.
Love you May, great writing.
xo pf

Glimmer said...

I have so much to say about this and I'm afraid to start. Yes this picture looks so very familiar, not where I lived but nearby in many ways. Also, someone very close to me, well, the upscale version. They had everything they "needed" materially and maybe that made it easier in some ways but their scars inside are the same. Maybe worse in some ways because these people were/are supposed to be not only OKAY but blessed-ahead of the game. I can't go on, I am going to say too much. You touched one here, as in the proverbial nerve. You do that May. You really do that.

I have been encased in winter's amber. It happens every year in February-March, I lose the momentum that propels me this far. I run out of the warmth I bank all summer. I think what you just wrote shattered the ice a little bit. Ah, May, you are such a wondrous writer.

Bethany said...

fantastic poem. so much there.
sad. real and raw.
love the last line.

May said...

Mel- Very true, sweets. This sort of thing may be even more common in the suburbs. I just... what gets under my skin about this situation in particular is that I really do believe that parents should have their own lives and that can even mean being wild at times, but a parent's job is to protect the children and shelter them and make a place where they can feel safe and loved. Trailer park or mansion, it doesn't matter to a kid as long as that is there.
Oh, and I had to laugh, I meant the Lost Boys of Neverland, from Peter Pan.

Petit Fleur- I love you for your convictions, I really admire how strong and certain you are. You make it simple. Take care of the dang kids. That's it. Thank you, as always. Kisses...

Glimmer- What is it Bob Dylan said? Helpless as a rich man's child? I do believe that wealthy kids can have it hard. I think there's a lot of neglect in fine houses, even when the parents aren't screwing around. Isn't it all so sticky? Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and your sweet words. I'm hoping spring comes for you soon, and you can feel the sunlight on your face.

Bethany- Thank you, dear.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

You blow me away.

Magnum said...

I grew up with boring parents. I have friends that did not; they had a lot of fun.
I'm glad my parents were so lame.

juancho said...

If I had a typewriter and a two story house I would have thrown it out the window now.

deb said...

I don' t mind saying that this is clearly and no excuses wrong .
No exceptions.

Your writing is incredible.

and telling you how I feel here, is different than handling the situation in your sense. Life is strange that I know.

Allegra Smith said...

So incredibly sad, so pungent like the smell of turmeric that leaves your fingers yellow and your nostrils dusted with a fine powder that is hard to shake.

You see through the veil and there they are, the lost children that never truly could grow up. They hear and see and pretend to do neither and we look at them and seldom recognize in the adults the yellow mark of a lost childhood to the sounds of a bed that was never quiet enough for them to fall asleep and escape from all that.

Sad, so unnecessarily sad.