September 25, 2008

harsh words from letdown parents

going back home was a long delayed matter
because I had nothing to bring back,
as in no news, no stories to tell,
no girlfriend and no money

and then it had been long enough,
the truth was known
and so that was the news:
the news is there are no news

no stories to tell,
and I haven't seen Amy
in a very long time now,
no money whatsoever

years ago, out of who knows what stupid
angry unclear reasons
I set this riot loose inside
and my grips I can tell no more

this moody and grim person I become,
a loner, barely going out
I sit in front of the tv
no questions asked

so going for the long delayed task
I was exposing what was left
of my alcohol drenched guts
and my stench was all over the road

when they opened the door and looked at me with pity
but then it was just sheer shame
my mother cried

you wasted your education
you wasted your life
is this how you show gratitude
to this family?

no mom, I don't have a girlfriend
and I wouldn't have asked you to wire cash, dad,
if I had a real job; it's just me here, at home,

there was no welcome dinner
but I stayed for the night
mom sat with me at the table
for breakfast the next day

the cold autumn breeze smelled like pancakes
and I had shaved and felt I had never left
mom gave me a kiss and poured some coffee
the kitchen door was open

maybe I hadn't woke up yet
there was something glowing outside
I sat and felt at peace
toast was burning

and still, there she was standing with lost eyes
early that sunday morning
isn't it sad, she said, have you read the paper?
and I was delighted to look at her into the eyes again

there is no welcome dinner for the son defeated
but mom will always
give you breakfast
and a kiss, I thought

I ruled out staying
not out of pride
because I lost all of it years ago
out of who knows what stupid angry reasons

it didn't work out the way I wanted
it just didn't
so spare the harsh words
you could tell right from the start

I was not the brilliant child you always wanted
I'm still trying to come to terms with myself
and you always knew
I was not the kind of child you wanted

ron kenan (Colchester, VT, 1972)


warcrafthero said...

well, this is some heavy material. i like the second half, when it all gets dreamy. i think that whole breakfast scene is well conveyed... very interesting. i also feel some sort of connection at a personal level, because our generation had this heavy burden on our backs. our parents assumed that paying for our education would turn us into successful young men, wealthy, trophy wife, two kids, a dog and a volvo in the garage. just like ron says, i guess we are still trying to come to terms with ourserlves... and with them

The Mad Celt said...

Mr. Kenan...I can empathize.

Anonymous said...

poignant and accurate...i can empathize too. this verses have given me courage to go back and face them. thankyou

Sara from PWB said...

This one cuts deeps and rings true.

louise said...

well, yes... harsh, honest, raw, but IMHO with a hint of hope towards the ending