Nickels and dimes
And twelve shiny quarters
Clinked, one at a time,
into their secret stash,
a souvenir metal box from
their trip to Hershey Park
Back when Dad was still home
And before Mom’s blues set in
Saving up to buy her
a present, to cheer her up
It’s our job, says sister to little brother
Little boy nods and digs deep into his
back pocket for another precious dime
Soon they’ll have enough for
that perfume she loves… loved
Loose change changes into loss
as Mom finds the cache of coins
Swipes smalldream savings
Asks Next Door Sally to watch
her sleeping ones while she makes a
midnight milk run. Sneaks off to
the casino, where nickels and dimes
become more shiny quarters and then
slot machine fodder. Then on to the ATM…
Three months later, waking the kids
in the back seat, she drives to Mickey D’s
for breakfast (won’t hurt them for a while,
she reckons). Combs their hair, checks
for lice as she softly inflicts blame on
their father for walking out. “Let’s get
moving or you’ll be late for class.”
The present for Mom, long forgotten,
but her betrayal festers within them
School teaches her kids
Mom teaches them
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Image from Wikimedia Commons, by photographer William Holtkamp.
This mom may live just down the block. Right now, things are OK, but eventually, boredom and that damned little addictive gene could give way to drinking before lunch. Or a divorce leaves her broke, while the Trophy Wife is pregnant with “Dad’s New Family.” Perhaps she is simply depressed and, on a lark, tries meth at a friend’s house (the first hit’s always free).
There are a thousand ways women are blamed for these situations, and in some cases, it’s true. But no matter who leaves whom, or who takes what, the kids pay the price. And the kids in this poem were ready to give their all for their mom.
NOTE: Before you all think I’ve lost my marbles, this is in response to Fireblossom’s absolutely brill challenge at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads: She wants us to B.S. her. Couldn’t resist this subject, and hope I’m not too late in posting it. I truly hope the Tea Partiers understand the irony, but I’m starting to lose hope that they want to learn anything new or think outside the Fox Box…Peace, Amy
Ann Romney. A First Lady we can embrace.
She has real values: Family, her husband, subservience, being Mom and Grandma.
Ann, so blonde, even in her 60s! Real Americans can relate to her.
© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
PS I must admit, I didn’t realize there was not a word limit… confused with Trifecta… guess now I have to go off and look for those marbles after all, huh? Hee hee, A.