Kimberly (kimberly_a) wrote,

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Mostly the untitled poem I wrote today

I had a great day today. I had good energy with only one 2-hour siesta, only an hour or two of nausea, two very enjoyable social outings, an excellent dinner, and a salted caramel cupcake from Cakes and Purls.

I mostly didn't feel like a sick person at all! It was like real life!

One of my social outings was dinner with Debbie and Alan, which was wonderful, and the other was my writing group with Julia and Crystal. Our writing prompt today was "a time you were frightened." I returned to familiar emotional memories and wrote something that may not seem like a part of a "great day," but it was cathartic:

Ernie gave away our puppy.
Mandy dug holes
in the backyard,
which is something that dogs
especially young dogs
It's to be expected.
It's bad, maybe,
but that's what dog kids do.
They dig holes.

But Ernie didn't like the holes
or maybe the puppy
or maybe both.
He didn't like things
he couldn't control.

Send them to the backyard
where he doesn't have to see them
but even then
they should only do
what he wants them to do.

I'm sure we must have had fun
in that
with four kids in the house.
I'm sure we played,
at least sometimes,
but mostly I remember
Mandy getting in trouble,
Ernie yelling,
grabbing her by the back of her neck
and shaking her
like he was going to throw her,
maybe throw her at the wooden fence:
a sickening thud and yelp.
It was already there in my mind;
I could already see her
limp on the grass
in pain and fear.

She was black with brown markings
maybe she would have grown up
to look like a Doberman,
but I didn't see her grow up,
so I don't know.

Ernie shook her
and I was sure he was going to
throw her,
kill her.
He looked at her
the way he looked at us sometimes,
like when he put duct tape
over Alan's mouth
because he talked too much.
I think Alan was 4 then.
Maybe 5.

Alan talked too much.
Mandy dug holes in the yard.
What did my mom do
to make him throw her against the wall?
Probably her smart mouth.
Maybe Ernie could have just used
duct tape,
but he didn't.

He yelled at her
while we sat in the backyard
where Mandy had dug her holes
before she was gone.

Mom told me
my first pet mouse "ran away,"
though I'm sure
she just died.
I hope Mandy really did
go elsewhere
like Mom told us.
I hope she found a good home
with a good backyard
where she could dig holes
and no one yelled
or picked her up
by the back of her neck
or shook her
or threw her into walls
like Ernie did to my mom.

I wonder if Ernie just
put Mandy to "sleep."
I wonder if
he killed her.

I was afraid
he might kill my mom.

We sat in the backyard
and listened to him
hearing the thump
of my mom's small body
hitting the wall,
the whimpering,
and then worse.

I was afraid he might
kill my mom.

Did he kill Mandy?

That backyard
didn't have any holes in it.
Ernie filled them all in
and it was like
Mandy had never been there.

I wonder if he killed her.
I hope not.
Tags: childhood, dogs, ernie, fear, friends, mom, poetry, violence

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