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Toby H Russell

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Member Since: Oct, 2007

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Featured Book
The misadventures of Saucy and her Mama

This is the story of Saucy and her Mama.Follow the adventurous journey of a young Jamaican girl as she navigates the perilous streets of Brooklyn, New York in the decade ..  
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This Is Done
by Toby H Russell
Monday, September 15, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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I don't think this needs a summary.

This Is Done

These happened first. Incidents like
parking fines on her home street,
being overcharged for utility bills. The grubby fight
to get her money back! The anonymity!

School arrived with its cold assessments
and misappraisals and she, proud mother, pulled taut
by pragmatics, love and doubt, tried and tried.

A sudden affair. Her husband gone. The price of milk
and bread a daily affront. Shouting at the kids.
Weight-gain, hair-loss, her wardrobe
thinning. The stamping foot of housework,

housework, housework. No sunned ocean. No kiss.
No weekend-rides down paths through city woods. Just housework,
shouting and sleep. Housework. Shouting. Sleep. Never

enough sleep. Endless tedium and TV.
Scraps of romance from romance books repeat
for years and on sleepless nights a sense
of slippage, slow decay. Her pillowed head

benumbed but aware the citrus bite,
the smoky trail of some alternative missed,
already sailed, teases well out of reach, a fire

that heats, that cannot warm. A solid cloud takes shape
and fills her view, her air, strains then mires
her thoughts in tuts that cut her through, run her
in rings, wear her down to a nub. Worst of all

this is no surprise, no new thing, is common
and meaningless as muck, that my fingers
groping at her with high concern disgust.

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Reviewed by Richard Atwood
Excellence of expression! Yet, did I read you wrong? I get from this the sense of a worn-out, deeply grieved divorced/abandoned mother, struggling on welfare. (I say that because her work/toil seems all related to staying at home.) And, it all rings true down to the last two lines, which deeply confound me: where does the "my" come in?
To me, dropping the first six words of the next to the last line (and adding a comma after concern )would still hold it, pull it altogether. At the moment, as is, I do get lost at the end; that "my"" is really a not understood what -- such a odd switch/turnabout... that leaves me baffled. Nevertheless, all that has gone before is unique, expressive, and good poetry! Regards, Toby. Keep going.
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