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David G. Allen

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I Never Wrote A Poem For My Mother
by David G. Allen
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by David G. Allen
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I never wrote a poem
about my mother,
even though dozens about dad
flowed from pens filled
with ink blood red.
after all, he planted the seeds
of fear and hopelessness, deep
strong roots grown in furrows
slashed into pliant flesh
by belts stinging,
quick backhands,
cutting words, while
mom protested in silence,
condoning the conditioning years
later saying --
“but afterwards he always cried.”
I never wrote a poem for my mother,
though I love her and think fondly
of the bond we formed in later years.
what was there to write?
I tried to protect her once
I was nine and my Dad, drunk again,
had raised his hand one too many times
and as he stumbled from the house,
my mom damning him to the fiery pit,
I chased him down the steps,
swatting his back with the brush
end of a broom;
trying to sweep him from our lives,
I suppose, though he’s here still
long after buried in a veteran’s grave.
I never wrote a poem
about my mother,
she kept us together somehow
all those years, for what
I never understood.
I relished the times
I was farmed out to
uncles, aunts and my
Nan Nan’s strong, protecting arms.
I never wrote a poem about my mother
who never told me what to be,
just follow the rules
as muddled as they are,
“Stay out of trouble, David
or you’ll anger you father.”
He was so quick to anger,
haunted by war ghosts
and failures too numerous to name;
a dozen jobs, a dozen homes,
a dozen shattered promises.
I stood with her often on the welfare lines,
bringing home the state dole of
oily peanut butter in gallon cans,
powdered milk, cornmeal
and the white beans that gagged me
every time.
I never wrote a poem
for my mother,
though she saved me once by moving us
to another county when
the streets beckoned and threatened
to steal the soul of her oldest son.
she never said why we moved
and I always assumed it was to hide
from the collection agents who came
round to our door as often
as the milkman and the mail.
I never wrote a poem to my mother,
who behind the scenes later
cut the strings, let me
find my own way, any way
that was better than
the stifling daily struggle
she suffered alone with seven
children and failing health.
I never wrote a poem about my mother
who stoically now in her
Golden Years, a widow, children grown,
has finally allowed herself
to live her own life, with no regrets,
no sighs of could-have-beens, but
says, “That’s just the way things were and I did the best I could.”
I never wrote a poem for my mother
who never taught me to hug,
or love, but managed still
to make sure we always had food
and clothes and a bed,
where in dreams I escaped
the dread of the Dad-filled days
until I was strong enough to run.
I never wrote a poem for my mother
and still I wonder why?
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Reviewed by Richard Bowers 11/18/2012
Unpardon me but I relent it boldly;
For it is far ahead, if I can be sure of it,
And far it is, that my hallucination be valid,
And hallucination it is, as it should be,
And however, unlike itself, mysterious, unknown, and untested,
So it be foreseen in my tireless search.
Reviewed by Linda Hill 1/15/2009
This poem brought me to tears. Its had deep emotion, hurt, anger. Your Mother should have protected you more from your Father, but she too was afraid. I wish she had had the courage back then to leave him, take all her children with her. So many stay because they think its their only option. I am glad that she NOW has peace in her heart, and can live her life as SHE wants, not in her hubands shadow, afraid to move, afraid she'll anger him. I know. I lived through it myself. God bless you Dan , for this honest and heartwrenching write. I'll put this in my library and start tracking you. I don't want to miss your writes.

Many blessings,
Reviewed by Mary Lacey, Desertrat 1/15/2009

You finally wrote a poem for your mother and what a wonder tribute to her strength it is.

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