There had been placid times when the good mother gave me trust.
Faith held together with duct tape and the watered down glue of stability.
The stroke of my cheek while facing the end of times were infrequent and often malignant.
I often wonder had the sterile touch of veiled angels been too much.
Too much to transfix my childish mind to what was kind.
Had I ever truly had a mother.
A mother to curl into with my twisted body and troubled mind.
With purity dug in deep into blood and tears,had she wanted, needed, another.
My Father used to say, peace be with you…
But it never was.
Holding a stark bare cross above the bedroom door…
I had been taught ‘this is love.’
Father would shake my hand until life caught hold
Eventually, in obsession, he became less bold.
My Father had sent me to deviant schools.
I had been taught of prejudice, good books, how to look for fools.
The working people of God’s Pocket… dirty-faced, uneducated, neat as a pin inside. They Work, marry, and have children who inhabit the Pocket, often in the homes of their mothers and fathers. They drink at The Hollywood or the Uptown Bar… little places deep in the city, and they argue there about things they don’t understand… politics, race, religion. And in the end, they die like everyone else… Leaving their families and their houses and their legends. And there is a dignity in that. If we stop listening to the neighborhood stories like ours… …
The working men of God’s Pocket are simple men. They work. They follow their teams. They marry and have children who rarely leave the Pocket. Everyone here has stolen something from somebody else… or when they were kids, they set someone’s house on fire… or they ran away when they should have stayed and fought. They know who cheats at cards and who slaps their kids around. And no matter what anybody does, they’re still here. And whatever they are is what they are. The only thing they can’t forgive is not being from God’s Pocket.
Harold used to give me…used light bulbs
swaddled with a fistful of Fig Newtons.
He was not half bad
He was not half good
Brutal were his words of love.
His not so slight of hand…caustic like cord wood.
A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
Harold gave me a broken brass lamp.
And, a mask to keep germs closer to our face.
What more can one say,
when all has dried up and gone away?
Everything about those words…a remembrance of home.
Dime store cares.
Never ending promises of…love.
On depleting stairs.
Steps alluding to family value.
Nothing but cross talk at a three-legged table.
Mothers eating their young.
Leaving the innocent…culpable and unable.
Upon a distant alcove…a three legged bed.
Unheeded guidance lay dormant.
A future crumpled, misconstrued…
It is bred, brooding and fed.