For Sylvia

I can laugh now,
but for a time
I was so scared
of my shadow;
that I would only
venture forth at
night, or noon
or during an
occasional
eclipse of the sun.
You might guess
that I’d be ridiculed,
what with carrying
a parasol to school
on sunny days in Spring,
but my brother was
three hundred pounds
of muscle, hung out
with the Amboy Dukes
and carried, as a
weapon, half a tree
trunk like a third arm.
From the time I was
six years old, the other
children called me sir.

My mother put an end
to it “toot sweet.”.
While no student
of psychology,
she took the time to
reason with me,
as she bent over a
steaming laundry tub,
in her ragged house dress,
like something out of Dickens.
She said quite clearly,
“Go outside right now,
or I will cripple you.”
My mother never hit,
but I took my sneakered
feet down the tenement
stairs, so quickly that they
barely touched the steps,
and then bareheaded,
I braved the April sun.

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This entry was posted in gang gang dance, Humor, parody, poetry, sleepless in state college and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to For Sylvia

  1. Susan says:

    I love this, Steve. Susan

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