Dawn W 1m

My ancestors
the pencils
in my hands
I am drawing
them now,
the lines
in my face
I sketch
them out
every day.

On our way through winding roads of trees
We have been driving for hours
On our way to sequoia
But we are used to this now
On this trip along the west coast
Driving hours in a day to stop and camp
We see a little sign for Hume lake off to the right
It is an area of big buildings
Adorned with crosses and Jesus’ name
A Christian church camp
We park and step out
Walking across the way
To a small little food shack
Waiting in line among a dozen construction workers
Grateful for their presence
We order two burgers
The only thing on the menu
I take the tray making my way through the maze of workers to step out the doors
We sit at a table with a view of the lake
His brother is a new father
To a baby girl
We sit
Talking about children
What we would name our kids
Or unique
Or none
And At what level
We agree the name has to work in both languages
Both of us talking between bites
I tell him I liked having a unique name
Reflecting on how I got to be the only Isabella in a sea of Mollys in grade school
He tells me he liked having a common name
He tells me how his family celebrated the simple names for the three sons
We ponder these two view points
Wrinkled foreheads
As I reach to grab a drink
And a few fries
It seems overwhelming
All of the possibilities
We let names roll off our tongues
Letting them sit in the air
Imagining calling Elena or Juliana in for dinner
Does it feel right?
I close my eyes in the sun and picture a little girl
Bright eyed
With his hair
my lips
Is she a Camila?
What will she be like?
How will her laugh sound?
Will she inherit my jokes?
The sun feels warmer than usual.
Here sitting in front of a deep blue lake
Pine tree reflections
Thinking about names for our children

My father never drank when I was young. Never a bottle in the house. I would be proud to boast "My family doesn't drink"
because I knew my grandfather was an alcoholic
and it tore the family apart
and I know the families in town where the father is an alcoholic
and slowly it all falls apart

but when I was in highschool my dad started keeping beer in the house
which turned to vodka
only once in a while
only to relax
only on the weekends
we all laugh
"It's like you take a shot of the chaser and down it with the vodka!"
When he started drinking at two in the afternoon on vacation
we all laughed
no big deal
It's just to relax
but what i'm afraid of
is that this is how it happened with his own father
that it was all fun
until it wasn't
and it was no big deal
until it was
and they lived in separate houses
and he drank himself to death in a little house alone
When is the line where it all falls?
How do you fix something that is just a joke?

Requite this mother, who's arms unfurled
  could soften a sunrise;
  and where we arose.

Requite this father, whose wisdom defines
  a mustered yearning;
  and where we shall flow.

Purpose fulfilled in passion; flowers
  had sewn a seed of wondrous dreams!

Purpose fulfilled in magic; delight
  had flown a nest of royalty streams!

elise f 13h

Drunk again
He came home
At least he's home

Crying again
Alone again
He's out
For as long
As he wants

She's out
On something
More important
Than her own

He's out
With friends
Or something
Like that
No one knows

So that leaves
To cook
To clean
To heal
The wounds
After the
Countless fights
I try to stay
Away from

But they, they
Are my family
So I am here
So I will stay


it doesn't stop the pain.
It packs it into a grenade,
andthrows it
to your loved ones.

I know you think
That pimping off your sister,
Is the best way to help your Family get out of Debt,
But I'm sorry, Jethro,
She just ain't my type of gal.
I think that you think
That my refusal to have sex with your sister
Is evidence of my homosexual tendencies.
From your warped perspective,
If I don't want to have sex
With a girl with a body like your sister,
I must be a Pussy
Or, at least, a Wimp,
But I'm sorry, Jethro,
Your sister, Becky,
Just ain't my type of gal.
You probably think that I ain't earning any money.....
That I have to borrow from my Daddy
Just to afford the chili  I eat for  Lunch,
But This has nothing to do with the price your asking
For your sister's sexual services, Jethro.
She just
Ain't my type of gal.

To the boy who feels he has to fill big shoes
With the regret of seeing another girl hurt but knowing he has daddy's approval too

To the girl in black & blue
taking pleasure in filling her mothers shoes
but regretting her boyfriend taking her fathers too

To the woman in black & blue
masked in makeup & the finest of shoes
Covering up regrets for the pleasure of knowing her children will wake up to a hope to pursue

To the man with hands of black & blue
slick hair & the finest suit
With the regret of seeing another mother hurt but the pleasure of knowing his father proud too

Life's moments that catch our breathe
To the pleasures we indulge in
& the regrets taken to the coffin
Here's to all of life's twisted pleasures and regrets
              ­                       -G

Mama washes the clothes
And hangs them out to
Dry, she takes me by my
Hand and we dance beneath
The twelve o'clock sky.

Papa goes to out and
Doesn't come home until
Late, we're all snuggled in
Bed by the time Mama asks
Him why he hasn't ate.  

He's missing out on time with
The kids,
Mama tells her sister
One dreary day.

I might just have to work more, she'll say.

Papa feels weak, thinks it's his job
To provide for a family that's
Just starting to fray.

Mama works and we ask
Why she won't come to play.

Papa tells me she's off to
Work, that it'll just be for
A little while.

But, days turn into weeks,
Weeks turn into months,
Months turn into years.
Instead of Mama, Daddy now
Wipes my tears.

They tell him that he's a poor
Excuse of a man
And that Mama is better
Off finding a real one.

Times have changed,
Families grow in different ways.
Sometimes things happen,
But I've learned that
Mama's and Papa's still
Love their children just the same.

A piece reflecting my childhood. My mother and father struggled for years to have children. When they finally did, my mother dreamed of being a stay at home mom to me and my younger brother. However, my father struggled to hold down a job, forcing my mother to work full-time while my dad looked for anyone who would hire. This lasted for years: my father losing job after job, drowning his sorrows in alcohol and my mother growing more and more bitter at my father and at the fact that she was missing out on time with her children. I was too young at the time to realize the circumstances, but now that I'm older, I have a much better perspective on it.
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