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My personal challenge for National Poetry Month is to write
a poem a day about the father I have never known.


I like meat and potatoes
better than fruits and vegetables
and I can't stand it
when the juice from the green beans
runs into my mashed potatoes.
I used to take a paper napkin
and roll it into long, skinny tubes
that I could use to separate my food

Books were always my best friend
and I could navigate our entire house
while reading
and never run into anything.

One summer I hammered nails
into the apricot tree,
hoping it would die
so no one would ever make me try to eat one again.

School came easy for me
and teachers liked me
because I always did my homework
and volunteered to answer
even when no one else would raise their hand.

Even though I was short
I ran the hurdles on the track team
and I ran fast.

I got booed
when I tried out
for chorus
and the school play
and the fashion show.

Dance lessons and piano recitals
were okay
but what I loved most was
roller skating and horses.
I was good at skating
and not so great at riding horses.

I've been afraid to go to sleep all my life.

When you add it all up
I was just an ordinary kid
but I was your ordinary kid,
and that's
who you missed

@copyright Susan Taylor Brown 2010
    All Rights Reserved

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 20 comments — Leave comment )
April 29th, 2010 10:10 am (UTC)
Again I say -- these poems need their own book.
April 29th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm hoping. I sent a note to my editor for Hugging the Rock and am waiting to hear if she's interested in taking a look.
April 30th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes!
April 30th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
So Sara, what do you think, a collection of poems or a try to shape it into a novel? I'm thinking it's just poems.
April 30th, 2010 05:04 pm (UTC)
Which one do you think would've helped a young Susan most? A different narrative to live by (novel) or a collection of moments to explore (poems)?

May 2nd, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
That is an excellent question for me to ponder, Sara. Thank you.
April 29th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
"But I was your ordinary kid" -- I liked this line, especially. What an extraordinary collection of poems.
April 29th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Jeni. And here's hoping tomorrow's finale knocks everyone over. :)
April 29th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
Well for such an ordinary Kid you have led an extra ordinary life.... Yes I know it has not always been like this it has had its ups and downs but let's hope more ups. You are an inspiration to all you meet. It was your dads loss that he never got to meet you, to know you and I know it has left a hole in your heart that can never be filled in. You are doing a great job though. You did a great job with your poems I am really sad that there is only one more to go. What ever will I do then to fill in my day. I have enjoyed taking this journey with you and will tune in tomorrow for the finale. I am sure it too will leave all that read it inspired.

- Anne McKenna
April 29th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks for coming along with me on the journey, Anne.
April 29th, 2010 11:39 am (UTC)
What beautiful details. (Poor apricot tree!)

"But I was your ordinary kid" Says it all.

April 29th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jama. The apricot lived to taunt me all my life. :)
April 29th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Lovely specific details.
April 29th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
April 29th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
This poem makes me cry. I could write one to my father, too, about the kid he never cared to know.

You brave soul, you're nearly done with this 30 day project.
April 29th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Candace. I feel like each of these has been a note to my father and with each poem written, I have felt myself healing and letting go of 50+ years of anger and pain.

Wait until you see what I pull out for the finale tomorrow! :)
April 29th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Susan, I think the behavior your dad showed was something that was within the Webb family - and it cropped up it's ugly head here and there. For my own life - I was determined to break the cylce of so many awful things that had been passed down from generation to generation - until, I found myself in the place of your Mom - and went home to my own parents with a baby and one on the way - and like your Mom, did my best to protect them. Though they have met their biological father, they were not hurt by him as his other children were - though I know they hurt in other ways.... but at least it wasn't the worst way to be hurt...
I tried so hard to break cycles - and still I found myself in part of life that I didn't want to play out the way it did - but you know, Mama's will do everything within our power to protect our children....
Your writing is wonderful - and someday, when my life slows down a bit, I have so much writing that I would also like to have published. Writing, is a true love of mine. :)

From this distant cousin - I send my love...

MaryRose Englant Paterson
daughter of Anna Lee Webb Englant and Floyd Nolan Englant
April 30th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
I seriously love this. Especially this part:
I was just an ordinary kid

but I was your ordinary kid,

and that's

who you missed

May 1st, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
This was my reward
After finishing the Carnival, I decided to actually spend time reading & commenting on everyone's websites. I am starting with yours. I am blown away, as I knew I would be. I hope this makes it into a book. You speak so beautifully for those of us who walk with that hole in our heart. It is rare to find this kind of understanding. It is a gift. You are a blessing. Thank you.
Kathy B. at forwordsbooks.com
May 4th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
tanita says :)
Yes. YOUR ordinary kid -- which made you extraordinary, and not to be missed.

It sucks that he missed you.
( 20 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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