I was born of a speck of ash,
I was birthed from a womb of rust.
I was raised in a room of violence
When I was frantic for a thimble of trust.
I was the creepy kid on the playground
Shoes with holes and too-high jeans.
I was shuttled to the edge of the school
Where imagination spilled at the seams.
Mother money, father anger,
Nothing growing but rage and fear
Broken chairs, broken bottles
Under the table and the bed in tears.
I became an adult of honor.
My work was my lone identity.
I looked sharp in my uniform
But inside I laid in poverty.
Dust covered my inner playground.
I strode for wealth and sweet affection.
I ended up with corpses and politicians,
Abuse for viewing in different directions.
Mother drunken, father distant,
Little girl buried in a weary embrace.
Dirt is the base of the road to death,
And only my life in the dust I trace.
I lost my job, my mind, my world.
I sit here and plink words on a screen.
My muscles ache but there is solace
That I won’t end up where I could’ve been.
Little girl is flapping her grownup wings,
Ready to ride new realms of her own.
I hold back my anger, my pain, my tears.
The reaper rips the muscles from my bones.
Mother deceased as is father,
Turned to ash and what it’s worth.
Return again to mother and father,
Parents of a new patch of this earth.
© 2018 Valerie Hathaway