As a kid, I knew I couldn’t turn the tide of Mama’s rage,

but I remember cowering off to the side

& trying to figure if I could lower the pitch & heat of it,

as if I were on the periphery of a fire,

angling to stay safe while hoping to douse it.

My next-younger sister got most of Mama’s

belting,hitting, slapping, & pinching.

We shared a bedroom, an island in the awful,

& when she left home, this sister became famous.



4 thoughts on “As kids, what power do we have? A 420 character, 9 line memoir bit.

    1. In Rules of Civility the narrator observes, “Perhaps he was comforted by the deceptive simplicity of these little facts.” In this memoir project, I’ve veered off the easy to tell little facts. And, indeed, I’m not comfortable.


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