Submitted Date 02/21/2019

Age 4, Sharon, Connecticut, 1948
-- This is one poem, in an autobiographical series of poems, that I posted here at WriteSpike. Go to my stories section for others. They are in chronological order. --

the day my father left
was the beginning of my memory

before that only faint pictures
Santa Fe
a rattle snake they had to kill

after that
the world sharply etched
my brain now jelled
so even with a child's mind
I had clear snapshots:

Daddy in a heavy overcoat
carrying plaid bags to our black car

coming back into the house

Mommy at the doorway

them yelling

me running, pulling on his hem
my eyes blurred

the hard thump
as he dropped the bags
hugging me
promising to come back

then me standing on the sidewalk
the old DeSoto
starting up
the smell of exhaust
leaving me
its rough gears
as it climbed the road
in late afternoon
in yellow light
over the top of the hill

I felt a knife in my stomach
and a taste like metal
on my tongue

it was almost like the pain of birth


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  • Tomas Chough 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    This felt so real! Awesome writing Rick. I like the sincerity and emotion you put into it. It must have been a pretty intense moment for you. Hope you carried on well. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rick Doble 6 months, 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Tomas -- I had to put myself back into a child's POV yet with something of the understanding of an adult. So I used simple language mixed with some things that only an adult would perceive when remembering.

  • Trudi Young Taylor 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Nice use of the child POV - very difficult to pull off. Good job.

    • Rick Doble 4 months, 2 weeks ago

      Sorry that I did not see your comment until now. I like to respond to what people say. I was brought up around a bunch of actors, so in this poem I tried to actually see the world through a child's eyes, hoping that I could remember the incident clearly enough.