Oh laundry, how relentless you are in this house,
It’s as if I were a polygamist’s spouse.
By: Sabina Nicole
Along with the stench
From the Vietnam swamp
Lingers many other stains
Far beyond mud and muck
I’ve washed and scrubbed
‘Til my fingers bled raw
Trying to remove the souvenirs
From my uniform cloth.
Splats of blood, of a friend,
Buried without a face,
And the revenge on the shooter,
In the very same place.
The stain, there on the arm,
Is from the night when I slept,
In a dug out, trench,
Where dead bodies were kept
There’s a cigarette burn
On the chest, over there
Self inflicted pain,
Meant to melt away care
Deeper into hell
Evert step that I took
Mayhem and murder
In all directions, it lurked
A letter arrived
They said I could go home.
So, my buddy and I
To the train station flown
1 week later, in Kentucky
We planted our feet
To be spat on by strangers
We passed on the street
The dirty laundry we wore
Was not held with respect,
We came home from one War
And, intercepted the next
Politicians on the news
Say, that was not a “war.”
Just a conflict, they say
So, what did our men die for?
I’ve woke up in panic,
Cold sweats, and crazed
I’ve wide opened fire
Through my home, without phase
If that don’t define war,
Then what’s this that I feel,
Are you trying to tell me,
What I saw wasn’t real?
Still yet today, I am pestered
By images, time to time
When I open that drawer
With dirty laundry inside.
All rights reserved ©
In dedication to my Pawpaw; Frank Dials, Vietnam Veteran
Served from 1964-1970.
He always has a hard time telling this story, but tells it bravely.
RESPECT THE VETS!!!!
O' laundry day, I cannot bare the thought
Of piling up these clothes any higher.
The devil on my shoulder says I ought
To take a match and set'm all on fire.
My knuckles, bitter with blue detergent,
Scrape against the corner of the machine
And although the pain is not urgent,
It makes me want to throw my head back and scream.
The sweat on my wrist takes the sweat off my brow
Every time I enter the basement.
The dryer's not done - oh wait - Joy! It is now,
So on with the folding and placement.
The day is spent - my clothes are finely done.
I'm ready to go out and have some fun!
You quote a man not known but known to everyone when speaking to me
You still are my favorite one to dream about
I choose my words carefully when talking to you
Constructed forums for self doubt surround my delusional landscape
So do consider this an ode to you and your false perfection
I climb all the ladders in reverse when trying to reach you
O'er freezing waters and under painful thoughts
Around you is agnostic heaven
You are a graceful angel and i am your charmless flipper baby tourette baring sappy tap
danced party joke :/
smile...i like it
I'm not wearing underwear
I can’t afford to clean my clothes
I shower every day
and sensitive skin from soap and psoriasis makes me itch
But I have bills to pay
I know you understand
Raising my little half brother and half sister
I've only met once
who are an ocean away
But this isn’t my story, it's yours
and the memories that remain
I know we've talked about it
Your pain and mine
About dad an alcoholic, and the abuse
and how you’re still attracted to it
But I still remember soo many nights
And soo many strange days
You dragged by your hair
I'll never forget
You thrown through the door
is embedded in my head
You with black eyes
you fell out of bed
I remember everything said
My brother’s name
Psychological abuse for you
soo long ago mom
You left and I don’t blame you
Years of you being cheated on
And dad would introduce us to his girlfriends
Easter holidays treasure hunt
While your husband was out betraying everyone
I know you know
That he talks poorly about you
And acts like the better man
But mom I remember
and you need to understand
What you went through
And the nights when I heard the door slam close
because you were fighting
and he told you to leave
That was how I met god in a sense
and always prayed for you to come back
Then finally I prayed for you sanity safety and for you to leave
And I would cry
as quietly as I could
cry myself to sleep
and chances are
dad either fell asleep
or went out in his drunken stupor
to cheat on you again
The divorce is over
It’s been over for years
But yet its still messy and I bite my tongue and remember
The night you came into my room
And told me you had to leave
I remember taking beer to kindergarten
Hiding it from you and dad
To throw it away
And my teacher in grade three finally asked
No lie mom
I had the same teacher in kindergarten and grade three
I could write an entire poem
about all of the people who shaped my mind
But I need you to see
When I come visit and am called an incest family man by your boyfriend
for giving you a hug
You’ve fallen into the same trap
And it’s like my own mother I’m not allowed to love
you think you understand.
but youre wrong.
its not just that the laundrys dirty.
its my dirt.
i dont want foreign fingers touching these things,
looking at my pale skin and dirty hair.
you say that this is my home now.
you say this is my family.
but youre wrong.
this is no home. just a house.
this is no family of mine.
you were my family.
but everything changes.
you don't care to listen.
you only think that you do.
you prefer the sound of your voice, of your moans.
no time for me to adapt.
you want everything your way.
you think that it's best for me.
keep reassuring yourself.
it doesnt make it right, just, true.
What a dream I had!
I sailed away to China
in a small rowboat.
I looked for you all over.
You had laundry to get clean.
For "Tanka Me a Dream" contest held by Michael J Falotico.
by Robert Pettit
Slide for a second
I know it was tough for you
But see it through my eyes
You had alcohol to ease the pain
I had confusion of the ways of the world
And the terror of this is the way it’s going to be forever
and soo far I was accurate
Look at my life
Watching my loved ones fight
And my dad never came to that occlusion until he was with my step mom
and he was fighting with her
and I broke down in frustration and he said
It’s hard when your loved ones fight
The broken home got worse before it got better
Because after you left
My next memory
Is purple finger print son my neck
from my brother
Monkey see monkey do
And god only knows what stuff I’m blocking out
It’s been hard mom
I know life isn’t fair
While life seems to turn up all roses for him
Look at the accidents surrounding grandpa's estate
And grandma's cancer
And I love you all
And my life has been a terrifying nightmare
I no longer know how to mask or hide with humor
I know it sounds selfish
but sometimes when I call u at 3 in the morning
I need someone to talk to
like when you call me at three in the morning I talk to you
I don't know what to say but I love you
And you will never have to ask for that
I may never know the truth of everything that surround my life of
Reasons I cant take a compliment
and cry for the world
and lie to my doctors
and mistrust everyone
But Freud says it goes back to the parents
But I always blame me and god
For all the times I prayed and made the wrong prayers
Like he was some genie
and now you’re all paying the price
for the stupidity I possess I’m not getting any better at handling
Anyway laundry day is coming
and I need some clean underwear
So I’m going to do all the things you taught me
And you know what
Dad never taught me how to shave
Lying in the oddest of places
A pile of clothes on tattered blankets
He finds solitude and peace -
On the boldly coloured fleece.
A twitched expression, almost fear
In dreams about what kitty’s ponder
He looks frightened, unawake -
on his laundry pile he quakes.
Bravery and stealth he owns
Yet not a bit of that does show
He quivers in a hiding place -
With terror on his furry face
What makes you shiver like the cold
Curled up among the folded sheets
I stopped the wash to hold that kitten -
Now so calm on fresh clean linens.
You’ll never return to where I found you
You’ll stay here warm atop my quilts
Still here where the towels are hung -
You’re not abandoned little one.
[Now, in memory of my sweet kitten, Lazerus, who we lost on Friday February 24 2012 at 10:15am, he was very sick. I love you and miss you, Lalee. Please know you were not abandoned. I am always here and you can come back home to us any time you want. You're bowl is waiting.]
I wont repeat this cycle
I wont repeat this nightmare
I love you I really do
You are my mother
And no matter what any of your abusive boyfriends or husbands say
I will always
and that is fact
That is true
I don't know if it was easier for you not to call on our birthdays
I just figured you were too poor
I can relate
Sometimes I would get upset
Sometimes I wouldn’t care
And I know sometimes you blame yourself and think you were never there
You were mom
You fixed dad
and got him to stop drinking
And now you’ve moved on and on
Round three of another match of verbal abuse and beatings
I know you and grandma never really got along
And I know dad was screwed over by some high school sweet heart
So he wouldn’t allow you a lot of things
And after all your pain they are back together
After like 17 years of psychological abuse and tears and frustration
and his debauchery shoved in your face
I still have a memory lane too
and know sometimes it’s easier to focus on the bad then the good
And I remember going to Disneyland
and how you were let in on all the women you knew and were friends with
Dad was diddling
as they chanted
It’s a small world
Don’t repeat the same mistakes
That would be like me rediscovering another place within the fire
I’m still stuck in the middle of a hard place
The weakest of the family being fed pills and counseling
As through me the age-old battle goes on
I know I'm having a hard time dealing with what you’ve been through
And no one wants to point any fingers of blame
And even though I have no idea who to believe
The joke I’m not telling
you could both blame it on the alcohol that destroyed you rmarriage
Drove your children crazy
And now apparently your still both stuck with emotional immaturity
Not like I’m any better
Thrown away and shunned for running away from alcohol and drugs
Keeping my secrets from you because you’re both too fragile to handle my truth