Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I grew





I grew up in a ring of tobacco smoke
mixed with sweat and Taboo perfume
a father full of "son-of-a-bitch" and Sunday
mass, drinking Grainbelt
and smoking at the base
of the summer oak- it was a long day of farming
and framing  to keep famine in check

I grew up with
a mother who dreamed of escape
sitting, smoking late in the corner darkness,
leaving a map of her plan
meandering the floor in a stark and empty room -

I grew up with spit tunes, guitars, Johnny Cash and
Hank Williams
songs - a fathers dream that drifted further
and further away
with each pack of Camel's, with each baptism
and with each passing year
- it was a man

it was a man
and a broken women, who's dream
remained forever silent between the breaking
of each morning and the ending of each day, while
she kept one eye on the door and
the other on the ashtray
that guarded her L & M's and the
map she buried

bkmackenzie
copyrighted 2017


posted for Poet's United

30 comments:

  1. I feel the desolation of the disappearing dream. To some, those cigarettes feel like a life raft, a small territory of their own. Wow. Sobering.

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    1. I could see them in a different light back then.. thankful that I never took up the practice...bkm

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  2. What a wonderful poem, times have changed, for some,(thank goodness) still the same for others.

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    1. Thank you Annell- always a pleasure to hear from you ...nkm

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  3. I can feel the fire and tension in these lines; "it was a man and a broken women, who's dream remained forever silent between the breaking of each morning and the ending of each day, while she kept one eye on the door and the other on the ashtray that guarded her L & M's and the map she buried." Powerfully penned.

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    1. Thank you much for reading and feeling the emotion...bkm

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  4. I can feel her desperation......likely changing to resignation as the years went by. I grew up in a haze of cigarette smoke too, and have never smoked, as a result.

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    1. there we few opportunities for women back then - her fate was written for her...bkm

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  5. And there it was. Just like you captured it. Yet, even in the cloud of smoke, there was a map.

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  6. Yes there was she just never got to follow it...bkm

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  7. Wonderfully written, can feel the starkness, the drifting away of dreams in cigarette smoke!

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  8. what can be more painful than living in a world of smoke and haze with a forever silent dream...

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  9. taboo was also my mothers perfume. i loved it.

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  10. The photograph and words in this poem are so arresting - there is a sense of hope and hard work.. Johnny Cash was part of my landscape too

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  11. Wow so much atmosphere and you have painted a very visual setting of the live of your family Great poem !!!

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  12. Wow is right. An excellent portrait.

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  13. Gayle Walters RoseJune 1, 2017 at 6:09 PM

    I likened my own parents to the two in yours...dismal when two people are so miserable but cling to each other anyway.

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  14. I loved one eye on the door and the other on the ashtray, that had a big impact for me. How do you follow your dreams, by leaving your family? No, you don't. You stay and smoke. Thanks for this, loved it.

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  15. This is such an image of a past, of a struggle to live, that I feel send roots into the future.

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  16. Mother WintermoonJune 2, 2017 at 12:28 AM

    Oh wow. I'm blown away by this raw, real portrait of life. Superb work and imagery.

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  17. Thank you for giving me a glimpse into another life, which touched my senses and emotions. I feel for all those women who dreamed of escape - I have been relatively lucky in my life. I love the lines:
    'sitting, smoking late in the corner darkness,
    leaving a map of her plan
    meandering the floor in a stark and empty room'
    and
    '...dream
    remained forever silent between the breaking
    of each morning and the ending of each day...'

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  18. So sorry, unexpected visitors last night have made me rather late in responding to your work. This is a telling and original piece that delightfully gets to the heart of something that truly runs deep. Bravo...

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  19. Wow! This hits hard with desolation and truth. Well done!

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  20. So poignantly and honestly written ... the sadness of the father drifting away in a haze of smoke, and the mother who dreamed of escape. A gripping and raw account.

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  21. Fantastic! Honest and raw, you paint a stark picture of the past. So nicely penned.

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  22. Dreams die slowly...fading like smoke rings; yet, through this smoky haze, you grew!

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  23. It was not all smooth sailing to tackle life's woes! All have such distractions different only in terms of degree of frustrations. A smoker's paradise might be mild to encounter and be up against!

    Hank

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  24. Wow. I feel your mother's quiet desperation, as the simple joys of girlhood cannot prepare for the woes of a woman trapped in a man's world, where her cigarettes are her only sad, momentary escape. This was so well done.

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  25. You bring us there - with smells, sights and characters of your mother, men and broken women ~ Love this one ~

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  26. That last stanza, so bleak and desolate. Very moving. Women trapped by the world.

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