Friday, June 24, 2005

Mommy’s Mummy

So here we are, the children of the
Oh so, not so fruitful womb
When along comes that tall
Texan, dad, the hero of every
Heart and tales told often at
Campfires and around the good
Old fireplace and in the pungent
Secrecy of the kitchen table where
He passes like a former Greek hero
Although now we’re talking bald with
Glasses and a pot belly belying all that
Rugged youth and horses and
Basketball hero football idol bronco
Busting intellectual with articles in the
New Yorker written while still a child
Himself. When do we stop to be that
Which we have always been, the who that
Somebody knew, probably your best enemy’s
Friend who really knew us but didn’t feel
Compelled to pretend with us because there
Weren’t any shared smoke the
Backy in the home made corn cob
Pipe don’t tell anybody ‘cause
It’s our secret boy/girl bond
Bull crap. How could he do that when,
All that you wanted was to adore this
Fiction that everybody told like a
Piece of literature admired by some,
Loved and quoted by others, on
Everybody’s lips? How could you be
On everybody’s lips when it was I
Who loved you? How could your love not
Be so sacrosanct and rare that its
Grace had to be so common? A
Questioning old age, a troubled
Youth, denied the answers to questions my
Children have asked now since I
Have turned out to be me.

When do we buy that retirement home in
Sedona, among the candy colored cliffs
And elevated plateaus of our imagination
Where we live forever in that adult fantasy that
We have grown up and are completely
Miraculous and good. You were always a
Danger, so much everybody’s else,
Such a question if you were even ours and
I have turned mother's fear into
Me in my quest to talk to you.
You, you poor man, and I
Were pickled, wrapped and dried,
Things of hollow legend and without love
From the moment we started this search.


Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I particularly like the last 6 lines I think they capture the your mood in a very precise way in fact the more I read it the more the pieces unfold

angel-A said...

wonderful! feels like i'm seeing an old good play in the theater :-)
like floating through the time backward...

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks Sue! You're absolutely right, the last 6 lines were written to be the denoument that forces a complete recapitulation of theme throughout the poem.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi my angel! I'm particularly impressed and pleased there was a "floating backward in time" sensation. And yes, I think children are on the periphery of busy life's adult world and often have a theater-like view and sensation of it. Thanks for you wonderful comments!

angel-A said...

thank you, Russell!
i learn a lot through your poetry :-)

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks my angel! It is my pleasure!

gulnaz said...

How could you be
On everybody’s lips when it was I
Who loved you? How could your love not
Be so sacrosanct and rare that its
Grace had to be so common?

Why do we think like that?

excellent, excellent poem russell! there is so much in there to chew upon. i am going to read this again now. thanks

hey read abuot all that you do, wow, you make food for the body and food for the soul too. :)

Russell Ragsdale said...

Gulnaz thanks for the wonderful comments! That way of thinking, I believe, gets started early on as children are insiders to the family and outsiders to their parents' adult lives. They cannot understand what they are excluded from. That unfortunate form of jealosy then transfers into adult life where we can no longer find its roots and "pull it up."

It's an ouch that touches many of us!

Glad you found something interesting in my humble life's details.

Gama said...

I have to agree with gulnaz on this one... This is perfect ;-)

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks gama! Your words are sweet music to my ears (and eyes)!