Wednesday, September 15, 2010

poem of the day 09.15.10

our kids

she used to write
the names of our kids
down on notebook paper

of course we didn’t have kids
we were still kids
just nineteen and in “love”

but there they were
our kids’ names
on the back of my history notebooks
and my poem journals

i don’t remember their names
just that seeing them used to bother me

i’d be on campus taking notes
looking at all of the other women in class
and there’d be one of the kid’s names
looking right back at me
in her bubbly script
along with hearts and other sentiments

how in the hell am i in this? i used to think

because i grew up and fat and alone, i’d answer
because it took me until nearly twenty
to get myself a woman

looking at those scrawls
looking at those names

i’d become sick

drawn out and pretentious little names
affixed with my surname

how in the hell could i
ever take care of that?

turns out i didn’t have to
she broke up with me a year later
right before she got a chance
to put the kids’ names
on the back of my new notebooks
for the next semester

she found someone else to write with
very soon after

while i found that
the clubs and bars of pittsburgh
were full of women
who had no need to write our kids’ names
on anything
much less want to learn mine.

4 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

great poem. I can relate to this.

I spent a good portion of my life pushing women away from me. Then I spent another portion of it wondering where the hell they all were...

Lynne H. said...

wow.. such a brilliant thougt for this piece.. you always deliver.. always..

i was the skinny girl with no hips, boobs and a fixed up prom date.. i never wrote those names anywhere.. all balances, right?

another great one....

Bukowski's Basement said...

Loved this, man ... Brings me back to my own days of young love and all the letters and notes that went along with them.

John Grochalski said...

thank you all.

Lynne...i never went to the prom. i was the fat kid who dropped 70 LBS before his senior year, and developed a chip on his shoulder toward all who had treated me badly.