Ten Years Old

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.”
-Ernest Hemingway

Ten years old

There is a wound that never heals
A brown, crusty, scabrous shroud overlies it
Like fragile bark on a young tree
It bleeds—
Sap runs out
Blood courses down me on the inside
Painting my walls
Like paint poured into a glass bottle.
No one catches it
I cannot stop it
Everything I do is tainted
The bandage – not a bandage
Is saturated

Why did you do it, Mama?
Why did you say it?
Your words, so dismissive—
“I’m sorry, okay?”
“You should forget about it.”
“It was a long time ago.”
Won’t heal me —

I was almost your favorite
So very nearly perfect
Then your disappointment crowded in with its sharp teeth
Biting me
The round whole branch cut into with sharp words
Did my hurt feed you?
Are you hurt as well?

I was almost your favorite—
“I said to myself, ‘Be careful. I don’t want to play favorites with my children.’”
“But then you changed—
You became shy and quiet
Not so friendly
Not so small.
You started to gain weight.”
My tears are always a nuisance.
“Stop crying, you big baby!”

Perfect gift from God.
“Forget it. Get over it.”

My wound,
I am still young there.
I was only ten.

My son
Is ten years old.
Long thing legs like the trunks of saplings
Arms like branches, reaching
For me.
Beyond me.
Before he was Michael
He was an acorn.
Now he is a tree.
A prince.
My baby: perfect, holy and undefiled
Gift from God
Growing away from me
Still holy, perfect, undefiled.
But faulted, as we all are.
Was he nearly my favorite?
No, only my beloved.
My Son.
Ten years old.
Are you bleeding?
We’ll heal you together.

Sitting here on Monday morning, writing,
Reliving a pain from three quarters of my life ago
My scab was pierced by a memory

Sap and Blood.

Should I show Ellie how to embroider?
My mother taught me.
Tried to teach me.

I was ten years old.


About debbiewritesstuff

I am a wife and mom in Minnesota with more than enough things to think about! For the past two years I have served with AmeriCorps, last year I helped children from grades K-3 with their reading through Minnesota Reading Corps. This past school year I taught social and emotional skills to preschool children through the LEAP Initiative in Southern Minnesota. I've been working on my own writing endeavors for a little while now: a novel that I have put on the backburner and poetry. I have a Master's degree Counseling and Psychological Services. I love history, family stories, taking pictures, singing in the church choir, reading, tracing the family tree, and oh, yes writing. I also love 'likes' and comments on my blog and I am tickled when someone chooses to 'follow me.'
This entry was posted in Poems about Life, Poems about pain, Poems about sadness and tragedy, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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