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-The Comx Box Continuum-
OK poetry lovers...Here we go...
Art by Alan Gilbert
I hope you enjoyed my poem. I wrote it when I was quite young and during a dark time of my life.
I had just lost my mother and was still traumatized. I lost her while on a Saturday shopping trip with her at Sears. One moment she was there, in the children's shoe section and then, I guess I wandered away, and she was gone.
I traversed those barren, wooden floor aisles searching in vain for her for what seemed like an eternity -at least five minutes. Housewares, toys, plumbing, tools and horrors, women's underwear. To no avail.
And then, "he" was there, towering over me, menacing, lanky with greasy hair and a acne, pock-marked face. His words chilled me then and haunt me now. "Can I help you, young man?" His blue name tag said "Nathan" and to me, that rhymed with Satan. I ran, ran as fast as my Keds would carry me. Eventually, I found my mother.
Her first words to me have remained with me to this very day. "So where were you?"
My father was a hard working man. The steel mills. Every day, except for Federal Holidays, weekends, 7 sick days, snow days, corporate get-aways, company picnics and 3 weeks paid vacation, he drove past those steel mills from his executive suite in the heart of town where he was vice-president of a successful accounting firm. During that ride, he was forced to roll up the car windows to keep out the sounds and smells of that mill. Perhaps it's why he was the type of man he was.
He was a hard drinking man. He would come home from work, put his custom alligator briefcase on the kitchen floor and start drinking. Iced tea, lemonade and Perrier. Then, when he was completely refreshed and well hydrated, the games would begin.
It would start with a belt. Yes, a baseball, a bat and a glove and he would pitch the ball to me and my younger brother and we were expected to belt the ball over the backyard fence. My brother was too young to understand what was happening and why. But I understood. I understood only too well. He wanted us to spend "quality" time with him. Never mind that every day at 4:00 P.M. The 3 Stooges were on television followed by Mighty Mouse. It was all about him and his quality time.
Thank you all for allowing me to share these insights into my life and why I am the man that I am.
(And thank you Alan for the title and artwork for this poem that best describes my bleak childhood)
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