Friday, July 30, 2010

Cheap Silverware

The last time I ever made an attempt to speak to my mom about my childhood, she simply swept aside my concerns and feelings. I knew it was going to happen, but I tried anyway. The last words she had to say on the subject were, "Why do people always blame their parents for their problems?" I wasn't blaming her for anything. I just wanted her to tell me she was aware that my childhood was utter hell.

Cheap Silverware

I agreed to meet
Not for her
But for me
It had been two years
Since we'd last seen each other
And more than one
Since we'd spoken
All for good reason
She showed love 
And affection
Like it hurt her

Her motherly words
Sounded not unlike
The tinny clatter
Of the cheap and pitted
Strewn between us
On the scratched formica table
In the greasy spoon cafe
That she selected
Because she liked the pie there



  1. love this poem Pat!

    And I also love your new banner photo- is that in Japan?

  2. i'm sorry she was too afraid to own up to her mistakes. it was good of you to have given her the chance to in the first place. sounds like you gave her a lot of chances, more than she deserved.

  3. Wow, Pat. Since I have read your childhood history, I know where these feelings come from.

    On an un-related note, I absolutely LOVE the picture on your header.
    The composition and subject matter are great, and the exposure is absolutely perfect.
    Very good, my friend!

  4. I love the picture in your header.
    I am a new follower from the blog hop

    Hope you can stop by and visit my blog!


  5. I really appreciate the candidness and honesty of these posts. Childhood memories of abuse and neglect are hard to unearth for many people, for fear of not being believed by those who just can't comprehend the horror. And that's the insidiousness of abuse - the internalized shame it creates keeps it hidden. It takes courage to write about it so that others may know that they are not alone. Thanks for sharing. - G

  6. Apparently her reality and yours are quite different. Of course yours is the one expressed here with such depth and clarity that it is the one I know is true. Perspectives and self-reality are what shape our entire view of the world. In her own sick mind I am sure she thought she did a 'great" job raising a son it is obvious she never wanted or appreciated. I find the concept of internal reality quite interesting. It is one of the many survival mechanism built into our psyches that allow us to survive in an otherwise scary and sometimes terrifying world. Oh...and your poem is really expresses what your reality was at that time very clearly.

  7. Love the poem, Pat. I like the images you've used. I especially like the line: "She showed love/and affection/like it hurt her."

    Yow! Man! That's good stuff for a poem.

    I have been going through a railroad phase. After seeing your header, I may just delete my photos now. Love that view!

  8. Vencora - I'm not even sure she thought she made any mistakes. I gave her too many chances. That was part of my disfunction.

    Joe - Thanks about the photo! I really like it also. You've read most of the old stuff, so you do understand, that's for sure. Thanks for reading and commenting my friend! I truly appreciate it.

    Ren - Thanks! Yep, it's in Japan. I was walking down that street and looked to my right. I couldn't start taking photos fast enough...That curve is perfect.

    Shining 2 Save - Thanks! I'm glad my comment on "Friday Follow" didn't scare you away. If you are here to read, then welcome aboard! If you are just looking to boost your follower number by one, then not so much...I will certainly check out your blog! thanks again.

    Georgina - Thanks so much, it's my pleasure. It was hard for me to unearth them for a long time. I did everything I could to keep them well buried. Of course that involved a lot of drugs and drinking. I'm so happy I was finally able to deal with it all.

    DrSoosie - You are correct, my reality and hers were very different. Both disfunctional as all get out, but totally different. It took me a good chunk of my life (and a lot of therapy) to figure it all out. I was very happy to learn that my feeling that she was crazy were validated. My survivial mechanism was disassociation. I learned it at an early age and employed it often. It even got to the point, where I could bring in on at will. Thanks for nice words and the thought you put into this comment (and others!).

    Bossy Betty - Don't you delete anything! I'm sure your train photos are great. Thanks for the supportive words and comments. I appreciate them a great deal...

  9. Great poem, Pat.... Isn't it sad that ALL you wanted were some answers? Your mother obviously did not want to talk about the past... What a shame for YOU.

    Hope you have a good weekend.

  10. I love the way you manage to say so much between the lines! Great poem!

    "She showed love
    And affection
    Like it hurt her"

    Maybe it did, Pat. Maybe it truly did....

  11. You are eloquent in a spartan way and it fits.

    Love the new masthead. You must really love trains and tracks and all that stuff.

  12. I love the fact your poems have comparisons in 'em, like the Greasy Spoon one. Evokes so much imagery for me. Have you ever thought about submitting your poems somewhere? Maybe matching 'em up with your photos.

  13. Nice imagery!

    And I have to agree with Joe, love that pic!

  14. Painful and beautiful. You really do write exquisitely.


  15. After reading your last several posts, my heart goes out to you and your Mom. Although it sounds like she may have mental and emotional problems, she is still your mother, and it was good of you to meet with her. Hugs, Marguerite

  16. when i saw the title of this post, i thought you were going to go on about how your coffee spoons don't match.... "well if you hadn't stolen them from restaurants and hotels your whole life, maybe they'd match!" is what i was going to say.... and then i realized it was about "mother"....

  17. Perfectly expressed. I wonder what kind of childhood she herself had, to have become so warped and hateful. Thank God you stopped the cycle...

  18. You words really transport me, Pat; it was as if in that greasy spoon cafe, hearing you speak those beautiful words. I suppose that's because the emotion and the strength behind what you are saying is real, and deeply felt.

  19. Now that's an ending. I love it because the way it cuts off feels like a real conversation. very effective. Great poem.

  20. Betsy - Overall, it's fine, because I think what she would have told me was that she hated me. She hated men, she really hated my dad, so she hated me...

    RA - Thank so much! I think it did hurt her. I'm pretty sure there was no real love in her.

    California Girl - Thanks! I think it's from many years of writing business and technical letters. I like trains, but train tracks really do appeal to me. The road...

    Copyboy - Thanks, I'm glad you like them. I've thought about submitting some of them, but it seems like too much work. I just have way too many writing projects going on at the same time. I'm not getting any of them done. I guess that's not exactly true, posting a lot of my stuff on my blog is at least getting it written down and allowing some input on them.

    Kristy - Thanks on both counts. I really like the photo also.

    Pearl - Thanks so much! Nice to see you here again.

    Marguerite - I appreciate that. If you read more of my old stuff, you might change your opinion about my mom though. She was truly evil at times. Thanks!

    Ashley King - I haven't the faintest clue about what you are speaking of. Don't get me to start dishing about you here! LOL!

    Margaret - It's very interesting. I don't think she had a bad childhood at all. I think the generation above and the one after her viewed her in a different light. I'd really wish I could speak to my grandmother about her.
    I'm not sure what I'd say, but this quote from my friend and brilliant writer, Nevine Sultan might sum it up. "...i want to tell you my mother has always been affectionate but your daughter and my mother though the same person in appearance are two different women in essence."
    Margaret, you should check her out, her writing is amazing...

    Sam - Thanks so much Sam. Coming from someone as talented as yourself, I appreciate it a great deal.

    Tim - The funny part is, I don't remember having any pie myself

  21. I only ever steal spoons from restaurants - normally the cheap kind which are always to cheap to scratch my name into the Formica.
    My mother asked me that once and I looked at her and said - maybe they did.
    having an accurate memory for some people means having to admit to being a monster so they prefer to invent and hope to fool everyone.

  22. Great poem , and excellent use of imagery.

  23. Do you think the way your mother was, was a learned behavior or the result of some condition?

  24. Jhon - That was my mom. It's too bad that she truly believed it. It wasn't safe to argue with her about it either.

    Nippy - Thank you much!

    Warren - I think she was stark raving wacked...

  25. i dare you to dish!!!! DO it! do it! do it! hahahaha, i'm pretty open. there isn't much i don't dish about, is there?

    go ahead and email me privately first.... thanks.

    lol. i don't care what dirty laundry you air.... i am dysfunctional. i know it. i put the FUN in dysfunctional!!!!

  26. Your words are always beautiful. Great poem Pat.
    I noticed your new header yesterday. It looks great. Love how the tracks curve.

  27. Ashley - Yes, you certainly put the "fun" in disfunctional...

    Mr. Stupid - Thanks for the nice words. Yep, seeing train trakcs makes me wonder where they are going...

    Sarah - Thanks! That's my mom! Or, that was my mom!

  28. Another great poem, Pat. I really like the last line. It somehow pulls it all together.
    I hope you did get something out of this meeting, besides this great poem.

  29. Wow.. this is one of your best poems.. seems there are those memories we take with us and never really get the "why's".. thank you for writing this and thank you for sharing.. much enjoyed

    (it's alot like mine..our minds think alike)


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