One of the kids told me
our father will be home
from Viet Nam today.
We have to cut the lawn
help us here are some scissors
& set me to work at the grass
of a small front yard.
I’d like to say that it seemed odd,
that I asked about their lawn mower.
Instead, on hands & knees I attacked
the grass with household scissors
wanting to help, wanting
to lay the groundwork for this return.
He drove up, got out of the car, saw
me there. I remember his anger
& how I didn’t understand why
he was so angry. You go home now
he said, & gathered his kids
& wife & his nightmares to himself.
I trudged home.
Soon enough, I visited other kids’
yards & homes rarely & then not
at all. This is how I learned wanting
to help could be put on display,
could be exhibited for amusement.
This is how I learned that welcoming
home wouldn’t be for me.
Andrew Shattuck McBride
September 16, 2012
True story. I must have been 8 or 9.
Andy, this is raw and potent. wow. I would like to talk about it more. thank you for sharing. this is good stuff.
Thank you Tsena.
Sure. Jennifer and I emailed back and forth about it, and I answered her questions.
Curiously, this set of memories wasn’t in a vault; I just hadn’t put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard about it. It took me a long time.
Writing is my therapy.
I’m looking forward to your next poem!
Thanks again, Andy
i agree, writing is good therapy. i have been chatting with a few folks about that very concept…what do you mean, it wasn’t in a vault? i like your work, these are powerful memories and words ….my most recent poem is my new personal tag line… 😉 http://succumbing.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-first-woman-on-the-sun/
Well, this happened when I was about eight or nine–a long time ago. It wasn’t in a vault, hidden away in a corner of my mind. It has been available to me to write about for a long time, and I finally did write about it.
Thank you, I’m grateful. I admire your work.
Yes, I’ve read it. Be careful around the sun!
oh, i think i understand; it sounds like one of those personal defining memories that needs to be opened and set free, is that right?
as for the sun, its too late for me…already incinerated. 😉 i would love your comments on it, i have been practicing a rather dramatic reading of it!
Writing about it has allowed me to tell more of my story, and has allowed me some additional healing.
I can let it go now.
I always hope that what I write will help others toward telling their stories and nudge them closer to what needs healing in their lives.
Certainly. I’ll take a look and email, OK?
All the best, Andy