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September 07, 2010

Sitting On The Back Porch


Sitting on the back step
Facing the alley
Quiet and almost happy

She was twelve years old
Her friend in the same class
Friends since first grade

The sun filtered in trees
Sounds off in the distance
Too young for heavy discussions

He reached over and kissed her cheek
Not touching any other body part
No arms around or clinging

No one had kissed her at all yet
Still it didn't sink in or upset her
It just was something in the moment

Suddenly her mother screamed
Pushed the back door into their backs
Calling her names and shrieking

She honestly did not know what it meant
What was a whore, was it a tramp
Why didn't she feel dirty like she should

The mother told the boy to go home
And never come back
Another friend lost

41 comments:

Kulio said...

Oh no...such young innocence. I've had lesser things like that happen. peace.

Opaque said...

Innocence...

Maggie May said...

That was so traumatic and uncaring.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

LL Cool Joe said...

Sounds like my mother. She made innocent look and feel dirty.

Brian Miller said...

dang. how traumatic is that...
i see some parent of the year awards being handed out...

blueviolet said...

What a slap to childhood innocence. :(

Rock Chef said...

Wow, what a way to shatter a sweet moment!

Jeanie said...

"Too young for heavy discussions", but not too young for big hurt. So sad.

willow said...

Gosh, I can relate. Powerful piece.

DJan said...

Growing up and growing away from your parent... how many things she must have suffered to see such shame and dirt in the world. Very strong stuff, TB.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Friends, The good thing is that now I can appreciate the goodness in the friendship and the sweet intent in the kiss on the cheek. I can still picture sitting on the porch and talking about school. My friend's family was just as poor as we were and all their kids had jobs even young ones.

savannah said...

some things stay a stain on the heart for ever, sugar. fortunately, the stain does fade over time and the joy of the moment returns. you have my heart. xoxoxo

TALON said...

An innocent moment shattered...it hurts my heart.

Stickup Artist said...

Such a trap of parenthood. Dumping your own shame, guilt, and skewed judgements on an innocent child's psyche. Unfortunately, at that tender young age, one does not realize that the reaction says everything about the parent and nothing about the child. It's a terrible moment to live through and these things take years to get over and some never do. Obviously you have dug deep and overcome. You are an inspiration.

anne h said...

Even the fact that you can write with such love and caring shows how much "forgiveness" work you've done.
You seem to breathe Love, TechnoBabe!

Kristina P. said...

Wow. How sad.

Robert the Skeptic said...

My mom was weird, but never that weird, thank goodness.

-Don said...

Beautifully written. You captured the sweet innocence shattered by the hysterical reaction. Did my Mom stop by your house one afternoon?

-Don

Syd said...

So sad and so innocent. I don't understand the terror of those things that have no agenda, plot or ulterior motives.

gayle said...

That is so sad!!

Jillsy said...

moms can have a way of shattering special moments!

Silver Strands said...

yikes.
I don't even know what to say.
oxoxox
Denalee

Nezzy said...

Oh, what a way to crush a sweet innocent moment. I just love that little chubby cheeked pucker buddy in the picture. Too cute!

Have a beautifully blessed day sweetie!!!

Mama Zen said...

That is so sad.

Joanna Jenkins said...

:-( how sad is that.
xoxo jj

Ed Pilolla said...

yikes!
the shit we are burdened with that we must loosen ourselves from throughout life is an epic challenge.

Cheryl said...

Oh dear. Heartbreaking.

Lori said...

I want to hug that 12 year old girl right now. XX

Cinner said...

How sad, I wish you never had to experience this. hugs to you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

So sad. Some people are really, really not meant to be parents. It's amazing that the little girl somehow managed to grow her own emotional healthy, and to finally find the happiness she deserved.

Bernie said...

That mother sounds very unstable and an innocent child has to take the brunt of it....so sad....Hugs

Big Dave T said...

I always thought it was the dads who were more likely to go off like that.

James said...

This brings back memories and feelings. You are a gifted writer.

lisleman said...

A reaction like is so wrong and just makes everything going forward worse. Not that it is any of my business, but I do wonder what the mother's background was to trigger that reaction. I'm assuming it triggered something in her past.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

crap...that had to suck...

Irish Gumbo said...

Oh, no, no...I've actually lived through a similar experience, and it was exceedingly unpleasant to my still-unbruised heart.

Good writing! Very powerful stuff.

(we have friends on the mind, don't we? Thanks for what you said)

Peace,
IG

Kazzy said...

Sheesh, talk about long-term scarring!

Julie said...

Technobabe, I just read your most recent post and was laughing. Now I read this poem, and I want to cry. But that is good, because your words make me feel deeply. That's what it's all about.

I love the title, too. It seems like it should be a happy memory on a porch, and it should have been. The details are awesome. I don't mean to be sterile by pointing out the poetics. As a poet, I can't help myself. It is a very powerful scene.

When I read your comment and see that it was real, I am so sorry. But I do love how you took the difficult and turned it into a positive life. You rock, my friend.

secret agent woman said...

I can't even imagine a circumstance, including catching a child actually having sex, that would lead me to label them a whore. I remember questioning my son about some mighty heavy breathing and he told me they were kiddings. He was embarrassed and apologized and I told him it was my job to keep an eye on him and guide him but he was doing nothing wrong. Kids need affection and love.

Kristen Haskell said...

some time parents just screw up!

Unknown Mami said...

Well, that's a sad ending to a sweet innocent moment.