Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"Family Tale"

By Camincha

The 50s

She arrived virgin. Was baptized by the foam of new waves. Swallowed by 5 & 10 cent stores, radio, the tube, night school, boyfriend, car, dancing. Swallowed by wars, turmoils, universal and personal.

Her wedding gown compounded the problems. Covered her like a shroud. The first of four chubby babies made them proud, a boy! In ignorance they celebrated. In ignorance they lived. Their ignorance like a boil grew. In them it grew. Then came two little sparrows. One straight hair, one curly top.

And all were swallowed by the American Dream: OWN YOUR OWN HOME, their little house. House swallowed by termites. Not a home that house but a menace hanging over their flimsy heads. They, not the owners. It was owned by FHA and BofA. In the garage, cars, owned by dealers who demanded payments. Also demanded: payments on a couch, chairs, washing machine, dryer. Worst of all the freezer, AMANA, BIGGEST IN THE MARKET. WILL SAVE YOU MONEY AT THE TABLE. Sharks sold it to them. Sharks devoured them.

The 60s

Another little sparrow came. Also curly topped. Came with the New Year, almost. Which found them, bleeding hearts, desperately trying to save their love affair from unnamed horrors. Unknown dangers in face of impotence against discrimination, lay offs, frustration, despair. Divorce. He did what he had long been practicing for, his GREAT EXIT. Left her juggling mounting bills like a circus veteran: merchants, banks. Doctors, for diarrheas, colds, flu, viruses. Dentist bills, for teeth retainers. Orthopedics, for feet retainers. Felt she could use some for her head. Maybe could keep it from falling off.

She switched to powdered milk to save for socks and shoes. Meantime she carved pumpkins for Halloween and stuffed turkeys for Thanksgiving. This took on meaning, when seen through her children's eyes. And on and on. Good moments few and far between. There were lovers, hers. One, she married. A mistake. Divorce didn’t make it good. Brought shock, destruction. Learned to lie: All is fine. Yes, all is fine! To so called friends in disguise. To so called neighbors who denied them the Christian virtue of looking the other way. But rather, pointed and stared.

The 70s

Materialistic well-being. Big disappointments. Strange comforts. Spiritual discomfort. Adjustments. Adjustments. Counseling. The long-haired boy looked like a middle aged lady: marijuana. Wine. Beatles. The Doors. Janis Joplin. Protests and sit-ins. Hippies, beads and flowers. The girls wore long hair and no bras. More protests and war. War of un-sung soldiers. Graduations, birthday cakes, good-byes. Trips to far-away, long-longed-for relatives. Earning power. And with it they knew envy and discrimination at its best. Despair. Disappointment. Unemployment. She searched. Searched spiritual growth.

The 80s

New passions, alliances, new life, new joys. Awesome expansion in learning power. As a reentry she first earned an AA, then a BA, then an MA: She, a Master. Oh, with great effort and perseverance, a new language for her.

The 90s

The one of the GREAT EXIT, performed his last. And left her to tell the story, which she did, in a prose poem. And here it ends. Not the story but the prose poem. For she knows now that writing will never end for her. Rather. She thinks this is but. The beginning. . . *


Camincha is a pen name for a California-based writer.


Anonymous said...

Great story, prose and poem, emotion and intelligence

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Thank u 4 ur kind words. Thank u 2 My_Story 4 given the space. 2 all readers I want ur comments.
I hope the rains bring u all many rainbows,

Jasmon said...

I found this to have the precision with which prose poetry should always read. lean and powerful. This is well worth reading repeatedly.