The poem below is an expression of myself at a certain point in my life and how I view my own childhood and the trap of childhood in general when we are born to the wrong parents.
I occasionally edit it. The letter ‘N’ has always been a thorn in my side. It has been changed from “N is for naps mommy takes with no compunction”. I in no way wish to shame mothers or anyone for treating themselves well and resting but napping too much can be a sign of disease in the body and as a child with a parent who may have untreated depression it is difficult to understand why mommy is never there. That was the intention of the line, however, I changed it regardless. The issue of nuance being absent in my life and the connection to dictators and propaganda (aka narcissistic mothers/fathers of state) is a big issue in my psyche as well thereby also a truth for me.
Most of this is my own story but not all. To anyone familiar with his work, I owe a thanks to Edward Gorey. But no more so than to Brene Brown, Alice Miller and Anne-Marie MacDonald (her novel Adult Onset gave me ‘X’ and if she asks me to change it, I will). Have you checked them out yet? Do it now. I can wait. After goofing around with my husband using rhyming couplets, I fell asleep with the first line in my head and in my next day’s shower rattled off the rest to myself. I hope it doesn’t constitute stealing in any way. The alphabet is free for everyone to manipulate and use and I want to make my story come out in my voice, even when my voice might sound like something I read in my childhood… Is this still art? I think so.
I intend to animate the poem to a robotic voice (Siri) but I am having difficulties getting to the drawing board on this one. It’s imbedded in the ‘great ideas’ file for now.
ABCs of one girl’s Child Abuse (trigger warnings)
A is for Angry, the way dad gets.
B is for Bad, how we feel about
C is for Churning. It’s that feeling in your tummy when,
D Daddy’s working and leaves you with mummy.
E is for Everyone. Whom you have to be nice to.
F is for Fear when mama turns into an ice-cube.
G is for Girl. It’s what you were not supposed to be.
H is for Help, which never comes free.
I is for Isolation. You’ve worn a path in your carpet.
J is for Joy. You can’t remember. Are you allowed to feel that yet?
K is for Kisses from your own sweet mouth.
L is for Language used to manipulate the truth.
M is for Mommy, the scariest one.
N is for Nuance blunted. Information spun.
O is for Over-blown, how you always react.
P is for Perfection which must always remain intact.
Q is for Quiet. One sweet respite.
R is for Rage, lasting all through the night.
S is for Shame wading through all the tumult.
T is for Tantrums had exclusively by adults.
U is for Umbrellas never held overhead.
V is for Voracious, the desires in your head.
W is Water, what we drink when we are hungry.
X is for X-ray, never taken, though it should be.
Y is for Yellow where the stains go unwashed.
Z is for Zipper as in zipped up, closed, squashed.