Almost The Paltry Sum

The small assassin.
The mortician's fingerprints.
The historian's blindness.
The scribe's untidy hand.
The ferry over a Washington Sound.
The small plastic pony with the bright blue eyes.
The bottle of kiwi and strawberry pop...
The grilled cheese fancy sandwich shop.
The days of blood and iron will
The years of nurture and frying pig swill.
The rain shower under the blaze of a Tokyo haze:
The burn of summer.
The best of worst days.

All of these I offer up to you:
My distance is closing
The race? 
Run... almost at least, 
Yet I knew how to battle and learnt 
To treasure momentary peace. 

Sweet baby in a duckie suit
Sleeping in his cot, silent and cute. 
Little girl with the torn jeans
Knees scuffed, eyes swollen
Sickened. Lost...
Singing by my side about buying
Mercedes Benz cars and color tvs
While she sat and rocked upon 
My motherly devoted shattered knees. 
Little boy gone fishing - tears for a carp...
Small Bear sitting so Angelic 
That he should be holding a harp!

Salmon furikake, tuna rice balls
Jagabee chips and children's halls.
The foil balloon that deflated in the corner.
The pink little cart with the plastic forever food.
My plans for brightening all Pig's murderously bad moods.
Sleeping on the floor like pandas in a huddle.
All those kisses on little stub noses
All those soft little cuddles.
All those times I walked the street at night
Hiding from yet another fight.
All those eyes, blackened and split
All those lips who spoke no evil 
All those days I was beaten, kicked and hit
All that knowledge that love does suffer
Rather than flee.
All that strength that I had once in me.
All the problems fixed and disaster averted
All the times the earth shook its bones
And made me cry and shudder. 
All the times I was held to the mercy of the phone.
All those times I nursed yet another broken bone.

I preserve them in amber
Like a long dead tarantula.
To say I existed and I fought the good fight
To say I never bailed and I not once
Hid my love from my children's sight. 
To say that I duck and wove like a prize fighter
To say my burden was heavy:
But that I made my children's lighter. 

All the joy and all the pain
Of living a life in the light of
Another's shame.
All those unfair judgements
Every single hateful condemnation
While my Man flew free and sat in
His protective home nation.
All the times I longed to escape and flee.
All the times we ran.
Every time he found me. 
All the songs I sang
All the happiness I faked. 
All the love I gave
All the love I take.
I hold them up upon this platter:
This is a very silent matter. 

Mother Farm trips with hungry goats
Ice cream parlors. Sweet little trio in-jokes
Cherry tree park picnics, coffee shop hours, 
Cinema days and the positive power
Of thinking I could make everything right,
And I'd always be loved and I'd never lose
My mother-grip tight hold on the future
Knowing that I lost.
Knowing that I lose her.
Knowing that I saved him
And that he allowed me to 
Be grateful for his mercy
Which he did not need to show me.
Knowing that winning partly is 
My pain to bear only. 
How I love you though I expose my pain!
I know you know my endless crying shame.

All the unfairness, all the indignity
All the times I shouted right into the sea
All those bitches and all those bastards;
All those threats and all my masters:
I have no need to call their names
They know who they are
They know who it is they made. 

But enough of that ugly self pity
The sky is blue, the day is pretty
And once I thought I had a chance
To really set my feet down on this
Earth and spin and leap and dance!

It is almost a paltry sum this
Sum of my everything.
It turned out to be
Not very much all, though
It seems to be evolving.

But there is a Boy 
There is a smile,
And I succeeded wholly, 
At least for a little while.
And there is the fact that I guess I flew
Though I was born
To fall
Both in love
And into horror's thrall.

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