The Standoff

Men prefer a reserved lady, Mother was quick to admonish, ashamed of my hot temper, the tear in mud-soaked stockings the call that came from the boy’s mother. But I was born with a fervid passion, a sense of justice igniting a fire within – Women need to stand up, I lectured her, to declare […]

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A 60’s Childhood

Formative years were more destruct than construct; contradictions riddled the foundation of our familial structure: one man tyrannized five females while in the news, women marched for equality; called the likes of him a male chauvinist. Aunt drove a forklift truck, looked like a man, chalked one up for women’s liberation, didn’t talk about her […]

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The Art Of Survival

Learned the art of survival from father, a commando- trained warrior, never able to leave the battles behind A sharp-shooter, whose expert eye tracked our every fault, with sniper precision, shot us down. Innocence has no place when the enemy resides within; when trigger lines are camouflaged by wall- to-wall carpets, and young minds, craving exploration, […]

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Mothers and Daughters

A child hides tricks her mother into believing she is lost; This is not a game, Mother says, panic still coursing through veins, visions of abduction blinding reason. Mother knows what six-year-olds cannot: that simple outings can turn – unexpected loitering around corners, the certainty of menace; she is wide-awake cautious, protective of innocence in […]

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A 60’s Childhood

Formative years were more destruct than construct; contradictions riddled the foundation of our familial structure: one man tyrannized five females while in the news, women marched for equality; called the likes of him a male chauvinist. Aunt drove a forklift truck, looked like a man, chalked one up for women’s liberation, didn’t talk about her […]

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Four Voices

At the age of four, I moved with my family into a new house that my father had built, on the outskirts of town.  The day of our move my mother disappeared, and left to my own devices, I defied my father’s rules about staying out of certain parts of the house and discovered secret […]

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Leap-Froggin’

Always wanted to travel, dreamed of exotic places, thriving metropolises, worthwhile destinations – where I’d be a somebody, make a difference, excel. Aptitude tests proclaimed proclivity – candidate for leadership – confidence to reach to the top, know-how unnecessary, if the hat fits, I’d wear it – ambitious. Wasn’t prepared for the halt in progress […]

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Day 258 “Empires”

Scaly slate wings entomb; morbid fear rank; visions blurred by despair- my father’s empire. Manacled, powerless an involuntary accomplice; Mother’s words attempt to assuage Her eyes scream: “Run!” Rigidly erect the Emperor regards us condescendingly: sneering, denying culpability while the dragon’s tail tightens its grip. Prisoner of this desolate reality I shrivel, and decline withdrawing inward […]

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