Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One Shot: beth, she made my teeth hurt

in the fourth grade,
with feet the size
of the woman she would
grow into, she chased
us boys around
the empty desks,
drawing close, she'd
kick us in the tail bone
so hard our teeth hurt.

& one day at 'show and tell'
she brought her
mama's diaphragm &
we sailed it around the room
like a frisbee, getting it
slimy gritty, collecting
dust bunnies, hidden in
some one's pocket when
the teacher came in,
to be found by their
parent prepping clothes
for the wash...

(it always comes out
in the wash)

she grew up,
got married, had kids,
got abused, black & blue,
became a single mom,
life kicked her ass
a time or two
& still she carried on.

i like to think she found
that fourth grade girls &
life will sometimes do that,
but there is an after
for those that are willing
to keep on walking
& I hope hers
is a happily ever.

though some days my teeth
still hurt.

One Shot Wednesday - write a poem, come join us. it doesn't even have to rhyme. Hosted this week by Adam Dustus. We get started at 5pm EST.

143 comments:

Dianne said...

? did I Yahtzee the great Brian!
great tribute to those tough but hated kids.

dirt clustit said...

it's also when mixed colors run, separate out into the visible primaries that were not initiallt visibly heard.

in the wash that is

Shadow said...

wow, a lifetime in those line. and i hope, too, her happily ever after comes around...

Mighty M said...

Oh, I hope so too!

CM said...

Isn't it weird the odd things that stand out in your mind from childhood.

The rhythm of this poem almost sounded like stream of consciousness...one thought or memory led to the other. Such vivid details and I liked how you connected the tailbone to being kicked in the a**.

I too hope she had a happy ever after.

JStar said...

:)

Cheryl said...

Thought-provoking.

Percy Bisque Silley said...

And now all our teeth hurt.

In Pain,

Percy Bisque Silley
True Man of Belles Lettres

ladyfi said...

Wonderfully evocative and moving!

drybottomgirl said...

Life has it's way of coming full circle. I broke my tail bone when I was a senior in high school. I had to sit on a blow up doughnut for the last month of school. Very painful as are the lessons of life. Good job...

Daniel said...

Wow. This was painful and real, but hopefully it will all work itself out.

Liza said...

Yes,
it always come out in the wash!!! I remember a note my Mom found in my pocket, and I am still embarrassed to this day!!!
"but there is an after
for those that are willing
to keep on walking"
Brian,
on your writing,
the better it gets,
the better it gets!
Your commitment to the craft, and to reading inspires me, and I thank you for that!

Carrie Burtt said...

Brian I hope that there is a happily ever after for her as well...just love this one....:-)

adeeyoyo said...

Eina, now my teeth hurt too... I do hope she found her happiness. So well written Brian! I liked the whole section about the diapragm...

AngelMay said...

LOL! Good one, Brian. Can't imagine taking a diaphram to show and tell. Too funny. Wishing her a happily ever after and hope she learns to kick back.

n. davis rosback said...

a wonderful story
as you do so well

700miles said...

thanks for stopping by my page. this was really fun to read. wish i were able to subscribe to your blog on wordpress.... i guess i'll just have to add a link so i can get to it. fun stuff - good writing...take good care...

Daniel Jay said...

It doesn't have to rhyme? I'm in!

Made me think about my childhood years. All the girls and the secrets. Never did fling a diaphragm around, but probably would have if given the chance.

Great poem man -

J.

Captain Dumbass said...

I've taken that kick.

Velvet Over Steel said...

What a childhood memory... sad outcome for the tough girl later on though. I so hope she is happy now!

Great poem, Brian!
~ Coreen

Meeko Fabulous said...

I hope everything works out for Beth too.

Claudia said...

..and still she carried on
i have high respect for people who carry on no matter how often life kicks their ass
great write brian

Myrna R. said...

Tough girl, tough life. Hope she finds some softness.

As always, your writing evokes deep emotion and memories - I suppose we all knew this girl.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Everyone deserves a "happily ever after". Well done...

Manda said...

The strength of a woman to carry on... in her happily ever after.

Steven Anthony said...

Once again...multi layered my friend...brilliant.

life has a way of making our teeth hurt ever so often.

Okie said...

great poem. great characterization.

Dulce said...

Oh If I told you ...
but that's another story (my teteth) lol
Great shot

Titanium said...

Owwww... my teeth hurt just thinking about Beth's feet.

I hope she finds a soft landing; life has too many rough edges as it is.

lakeviewer said...

What happens when promises left behind, the future laid out stiff and unbending for all the energy we brought into life, we are stuck in predictable strips. Ouch!
Beth may have made your teeth hurt back then; but she never grew to fit those shoes of hers. Something/someone kicked her ass long enough to stop her growth.

Jannie Funster said...

Another amazing story in so few words, Brian.

I hope she is doing well too.

xo

Matty said...

It always comes out in the wash. Love it.

Madame DeFarge said...

I rather liked this one, for the pace and the structure. Reminds me of all those children at my school who acted so tough and I wonder what became of them too.

the wid0w said...

a nice little journey through most emotions in this and all the more powerful for the humor captured in the beginning

got to admit im still giggling at the thought of the diaphragm sailing through the classroom like a frizbee

anthonynorth said...

An excellent story and message.

dustus said...

Brought back to feelings of grade school until literally clobbering me with the reality of abuse. Fine poem, Brian.

SuziCate said...

I sometimes wonder what happened to some of those people and hope that life was not unkind.

Maureen said...

What a turn in the poem after the parenthetical bit!

Joanie M said...

the lines about the diaphram had me laughing out loud!

I, too, hope her life is happy now.

Beachanny said...

What a visual poem. You have your readers right there..fourth grade. Those gritty kids who lose their innocence so early getting rough licks and then doomed to give them and get them again. This pulls on my heartstrings. Gay @beachanny

Ben Langhinrchs said...

Wow! What a compelling and understated story of a person who touched our past, and our dreams of that person's future. I like it.

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

a diaphragm, a boomerang, a lesson learned, a leaf turned

Lori said...

I've known a good share of girls like this and really it's very sad to see and you can only pray and hope that they grow up and out of that and some how find a different way...a happily ever after. Great words Brian!

Baino said...

Aww that's a kicker alright. Very careless mother I think!

Caty said...

childhood leaves quite an impression...I hope her story has a happy ending too.

Caty said...

childhood leaves quite an impression...I hope her story has a happy ending too.

Friko said...

hey, this is brilliant. I might have a go myself. As you say, it doesn't have to rhyme (which is something I can't do, except in Limerick form)

KB said...

Glad you could wish the best for such a bully.

tuberider said...

very good. Enjoyed the subtle humour, especially these line:

"though some days my teeth
still hurt."

Hilary said...

Everyone should have their happily ever after. Particularly those with sad beginnings.

Tina said...

I bet she'd smile to know that you remember her. And took the time to write about her. I wish her peace. Nice way to honor her, when life hasn't done that so much...

Pat said...

What a tale you weave with your poem; girls with big feet, flying diaphragms and abused wives. Oh my!

poemblaze said...

The first half of the poem is wonderfully funny, then such a brutal shift to adult realities. Well expressed.

Gabriela Abalo said...

realistic!! bad memories turned into good wishes :)

great One Shot!

Betsy said...

Fourth grade...I'm quite certain I would not have known what a diaphram was! LOL! Hope Beth finds the real meaning of happily ever after. :)

Tracy said...

I have to read this over. And over. And over again. Because I like it so much.

Deidra said...

Yeowch! That swift kick.

In fourth grade I was shot in the eye with a rubber band, just as the teacher turned off the lights before we watched a movie. I think of that classmate from time to time and wonder how things ended up for him.

And yes, it all comes out in the wash.

Nick Rolynd said...

A great and painful story. Wonderful piece. =3

Asobime said...

Wow!! this is a wonderful, evocative poem, Brian.

Why haven't you entered this one in the Poetry Competition run by OneShot???

I'd vote for this one...even though I entered one myself.

It is a full poem..meaning it ranges through a lifetime, and it's not just stuck in a scene.

Loved this poem.

Lady Nyo

Brian Miller said...

thanks lady nyo...as one of the principals of one shot i can not enter but i can not wait to read yours!

G-Man said...

You know this chick?
I think her mean nature did her in.
Loved your story Son....G

Sy said...

little girls are the best.. she is very much like lucy from charlie brown

Me said...

I too hope there is an "after" if you keep on walking.

Nice One Shot, Brian.
-C

secret agent woman said...

Bullies rarely fall far from the tree.

Had to skip the last one - it gave me the heebies. :-)

Aging Mommy said...

This is so original, I loved it. It is so very fascinating to see how life turns out for people, often so unexpectedly given what you remember of them in early childhood. I hope she does find her happily ever after some day too.

Mama Zen said...

I would just hate to have been the mom that found that nasty diaphragm!

Krislin Neo, Ting (Syracuse Pike) said...

Hope she will.. :)
and well, it was a beautiful poem, well-expressed, playing it 'live' before my eyes..
Thanks for dropping by.. I am following both of your blogs.. :) like the Theme Thursday.. Will be joining this Thursday..
Hope to see you around in any of my blogs, hope at least one appeals to you.. :)

Shell said...

You weave words into a story that is interesting and relatable.

PS...*Note to self* ...find a more secure hiding place for the vibrator... ;)

Mary said...

A wonderful story within this poem! I chuckled about the show and tell.

mrs mediocrity said...

i love the sentiment here, the forgiveness, and the hope. beautiful.

alex said...

:)
i like that
what goes around comes around

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

once a kicker, always a kicker... one day the bully in her will come back to make some teeth hurt again!

River said...

Lol What a great memory and lesson at the end.

signed...bkm said...

Yes, you have to keep going, keep walking and keep memories of happiest to have a happy ever after..because life is never perfect...bkm

gospelwriter said...

one could say she deserved it - and yet one feels sorry for her, kinda... that was funny about the diaphragm. great story poem as always!

PattiKen said...

I was always jealous of those girls in the fourth grade, the ones who didn't take another 25 years to find their strength. Good one, Brian. (Sorry about the teeth, though.)

Jerry said...

You nailed this(again, I am finding with you)right in my
coccyx. Pass me the sensodyne.

Miss Nikki said...

What a cool - fun - yet... emotional read! Thanks B'Man!

Christina said...

Terrific... as usual. Hoping for the best for Beth too.

ds said...

Fourth grade can be tough. So true that life is often toughest on those who bully (perhaps that is why they bully). I hope things work out for her also. Thank you for making us see Beth so clearly.

It all comes out in the wash...

Glynn said...

Nice one, Brian. That last line made it complete.

Nancy said...

Nice. I hope she lived happily ever after.

Alethea said...

That was fun to read...but sad at the same time
I hope too that she lives happily :)

Sh@s said...

It was funny in parts yet there was pain and hope in it.

She said...

Crap! So, that is what I did wrong, and ironically as a fourth grade girl, pushing that boy out of his desk, busting that hair brush over that girl's head in the school bathroom...I must say, however, that I never took my mom's diaphragm for show and tell! great story, brian. is it true? is mine?...(smiles)

Kaylen said...

Such a lovely memory - interesting that it sticks out in your mind, and then to hear how her life went from there...sad, but touching to see the side of her as a young girl flinging a diaphragm with friends.

Zuzana said...

Beautiful and poignant recollection...
Perhaps that happily ever after after all depends on the state of our minds.;)
If we believe in happy endings, we will get them.;)
Have a lovely day dear friend,
xoxo

Just Be Real said...

Brian I do hope so. Thank you dear one for sharing. Blessings....

gaelikaa said...

There are some people we never forget....

Brian, congrats on POTW mention...

Carolina Linthead said...

Love this one, Brian! Here's to those 4th grade girls with big feet and kick-ass attitude. Mine was named Kay, for the record :-D

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

"in the fourth grade,
with feet the size
of the woman she would
grow into, she chased
us boys around
the empty desks,
drawing close, she'd
kick us in the tail bone
so hard our teeth hurt."


LOL!!!!

Hi! Brian...A couple of words that comes to my mind after reading your poem...
...A reminiscence of a bully, childhood, pain, and the future hope for the person who was the bully.
Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

keshavnarla said...

wow...a very different theme. This was well written. Thanks

p.s - Thanks for your comment

Katherine said...

Amazing what memories resurfaced when reading this Brian. I was in grade 1 and there was a boy (a bully) in my class whom had it in for me, his name was Shane. I don't know why he hated me so much.
One day when the teacher asked me to do something for her he got so angry that he came over and bit me on the nose taking the top layer of skin off my nose..I was so hurt & horrified that I never forgot it! So in my case it was a sore nose not teeth. Great One Shot Brian!

Anonymous said...

Another winner Brian, so descriptive you made my teeth hurt...ps I have to sign anonymous until my new e providerkicks in

Lorraine

Goofball said...

well maybe if you boys hadn't stared at her feet with the size of a woman , your teeth wouldn't have hurt in the first place

slommler said...

She so needs a happily ever after!!
Congrats on your POTW
Hugs
SueAnn

Tabor said...

I almost waited to comment until I was 100...but your post is too good and deserves my praise now.

Cricket said...

Heh, heh. Sometimes I think we must have known some of the same people... Actually, I knew two "Beths": MaryBeth, and Cary. A very well-written tribute, if you can call it that.

I would.

Congratulations on your potw,

senderupwords said...

Hope. Hope. Hope. Nice write here. Love and Light, Sender

Jill said...

Brian...in my "half full" world I would pray that Beth would kick that no-good abusing husband in the tail bone TILL HIS TEETH RATTLED OUTTA OF HIS HEAD and down the street NEVER to return. But life is not all wrapped up tidy like a package is it?

Mona said...

I am confused. I don't know whether to call this a tragedy or a comedy...

Tragi- comic? Farcical?

dunno!

:D But one thing I sure do, and that is you are extremely big hearted!

Vicki Lane said...

Wow! What a great one shot!

Birdie said...

ohh ...me too I do hope she will find the happily ever after! happy day Brian!

BLOGitse said...

autch! I can feel it...

BLOGitse said...

autch! I can feel it...

Candie Bracci said...

memories are alive!:) great poem!

natalee said...

awww.. I hope that she has a Happy ever after...... I hate when people that touchd your life have such hard lives themselves.....

Eric Alder said...

Nice working in that 'coming out in the wash' line, Brian... quite an amusing One Shot!

Suz said...

interesting story
much to think on

Beedeebabee said...

I am just loving how you write! I hope she gets a happily ever after too! :)

Land of shimp said...

Brain, you really have gift for imagery. Great spare style here, but a mental image with a lot of details. Really well done!

betweenhearts75 said...

This is so well done!!! Life has so many twists and turns, from childhood to adulthood, I hope you are right..that she found that happily ever after...perhaps that kick has kept her going, one can only hope...excellent work!

Anonymous said...

an interesting poem that ended sadly. poor girl.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

Strummed Words said...

Hope her toughness lasted through the rest of life after 4th grade! Interesting story!

Linda said...

So many feelings running through my mind Brian - remembering 4th grade, hurting for the little girl that was and hoping with you that it all came out well in the end.

S. Sharp said...

Wow ... if we did not ever got hurt we wouldn't be able to learn from our experiences...

Thanks for this beatiful one shot picture you told us.

S.
Shadiatique

Victoria said...

Brian, you blew me away. A narrative poem filled with details, a bit of humor, sadness and grit. Gotta love the Beth's of the world.
Thanks, as well, for stopping by my one shot.

Scott said...

"with feet the size
of the woman she would
grow into" Good description. Man, I hated fourth grade. This poem reminded me of a girl in second grade though. She became a hottie in high school. But it goes to show that you never know what paths a person's feet end up treading. Good One Shot.

Gramma Ann said...

Oh, my goodness, I felt that kick in the tailbone... I love the show and tell, I never thought of them as a frisbee. Haha...

Thanks for visiting me and leaving such an encouraging comment.

Lovely Annie said...

It always comes out in the wash...so true on so many levels.

Your poetry is rich with immediacy, empathy, and authenticity...each poem I read the more I am impressed and look up to you as a poet! Thanks for supporting my craft with your attention/comments! You rule...and as you know...all others drool (hows that for 4th grade)

Chris G. said...

What a great story, Brian. Great tribute piece--though the diaphragm bit made me both cringe and laugh, and the poem, well...it certainly makes all our teeth hurt. May she have a happily ever after.

Very moving poem all throughout, though, with great characterization. Great one shot!

Monica Sharman said...

This made my chuckle and get sad and remember things I didn't want to. And the foreshadowing in your first four lines...

Thanks for your encouragement about my poem. I feel out of my league here, but it's fun trying to run with horses!

deb said...

this makes me so sad really.

william said...

it takes all sorts mate ;)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I SO LOVE THIS POEM!!!! Love Beth and her big feet, but winced at the hurt tailbones. Sad when life kicked her around, proud she kept going......and loved your warm wishes for her tomorrows........GREAT one-shot, loved every single word.

Mmm said...

Great ending her adn who! a diaphram?! Really? I didn't even know what that was until my 20'a. Is this a real story I wonder? that poor girl even so.

Donusho said...

... i hope this isnt a true story... regardless, this poem made me smile because towards the end I felt there was a happy ending though it wasnt certain, i guess this poem brought to my mind that a happy ending or happily ever after is a state of the mind, first and foremost. Fantastic!
Donusho

qbanpoet.com said...

Really great slice of life piece. I love poems that focus on singular moments and memories.

AmyLK said...

Ahh the memories from school days. Everyone should have a happy ending.

Amanda said...

Love the sentiment in this my friend...you always write with emotions so well crafted. Great Oneshot xxx

Stranger said...

Ah, sounds like Beth took out a lot on her fourth grade peers but took plenty of abuse from others behind the closed doors of her homes.
Love the compassion here. Found the diaphram description delightfully disturbing. The ick factor adds to the humor. Nice One Shot!

mama-face said...

there is a book in this story. so much, maybe our whole lives, hinges on our experiences as a child. i feel so sad for beth and wish her the best.

The Retired One said...

A good, succinct account of how life imitates life....I too hope for her that life's gentler side finally was her companion.
Sorry about your teeth...but now you have found a sweeter life, too, haven't you Brian?

Leo said...

someone said, "lifetime in those lines".. so true Brian.. I liked the memory part of show and tell, naughty kids there! then the moving forward part! a good write!

My One Shot Poem - Morning Mist

Emmanuel Ibok said...

Funny indeed...was I tryna catch a sarcasm when you said life kicked her ass (more like, the same way she kicked your asses)

Cheers!

Steve said...

Standout merging of the hilarious, the prosaic and the heartbreaking -- that is, the real.

Teresa said...

This is great! I love how you can paint a picture of a person some might look down on and make them a character to empathize with. Nicely done.

Cor said...

Great poem Brian. When she was mean in fourth grade, it came back to her in the future. Something none of us would wish for anyone. The forgiveness in the poem is great, when you wish at the end that she will too find a happily ever after. Great One Shot, thank you for sharing.

patty Sherry said...

hi Brian,
I felt so drawn in, just a poem and yet a story. Felt like i knew her. what a great One Shot. xo

Marla said...

Really good. Made me smile.

Magpie said...

It's wonderful how we sometimes can see people from our past with new eyes and hearts.

me_duress said...

A complete story in so little. very compelling!

CherylK said...

Well, this is really excellent, Brian, and a most deserving choice for POTW. I'm always in awe of people like you...wonderful poetry with seemingly no effort. Huge Congratulations!