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Battered Homes and Garbage

Riding the bus to school past an ugly reminder
the tattered trailers next to a construction site
I imagine the way it used to be    
a house
across from a dozen shattered trailers with little heat
no water usually but electricity
visiting mom was a treat

Dad would not refuse to drop me off
at her trailer with my pet rat
rad dee louise, ratty louise mom called him
she loved him so I let her have him

mom had friends over all the time 
this tattered trailer held them while
I watched and smelled the perfume 
watched her glow red and crystallize with 2 grown men
then dad picked me up for the night

next time a man drove up to the lot
he rolled down the window and I ran up
we talked and I must have been smart
because he remembered me and drove off

she wanted to talk about the spies
the eyes in the trees that were watching her
I ate the crystals she gave me saying
these are cow grass, they put the cows to sleep

I did not sleep 
she lectured me
about all the terrible things that others
could do to me or had done to others
so I went outside and built a fire

that fire lasted through the night
the coals were most amazing things
I'd ever seen 
I stared into their eyes
keep them alive and nothing else mattered

She came storming out of the tattered trailer
after midnight or just before dawn I dont know
I'm being electrocuted! she said
tired, I wondered why she felt that way
she jumped into a tree and sat their shaking
I tried to comfort her but she was on fire
I saw that,  tried to leave in vain
she kept me close and dragged me
to the battered trailer again

she pulled me from place to place
around the compound in the dawn
the fire coals were cold and so was I 
wanted to sleep but she kept saying 
she was being electrocuted

waking up I wandered to find the sheriff
shaking her awake and taking her away
they took me too
to the dock where the van was
where my dad was gone
I told them he was teaching which was true
so I woke up alone next to the payphone
and crawled into bed in the van
I didn't tell my dad

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019

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