Grape Popsicle

school

While Enjoying A Grape Popsicle

‘it’s the sookie

the gutless wonder – get him’

three pairs of feet rushed me

Dave Parsons, his brother Stinky

and kid sister Mag

with a bruise on her arm

Dave a year older than me

Vic in my class at school

at 12 I knew what helpless meant

there was no way out

sometimes they were suddenly there

shoving and pushing me

‘yah yellow crybaby’

Dave had me in a head lock

handed my Popsicle to Mag

‘can’t even fight a girl’

he pushed me at Mag

she hit me in the face

‘go on – you useless gutless wonder’

she hit me again

I tried to stop her third smack

the others piled on me

‘hit her would you – we’ll teach you’

kicking shoving me to the ground

I tried to stop crying

‘sookie baby you tell

and we’ll say you did that bruise to Mag’

looking back

I can place these kids

in small town unhappy drunken homes

where Dave learned

words like ‘gutless wonder’

booze-hound Dad working mother

older brothers in and out of jail

acting out as they were acted upon

abuse that I didn’t experience in my home

which doesn’t change the fact

I didn’t know how to protect myself

I believed that I was gutless

my useless word against theirs

Dave broke an arm rolling a stolen car

Stinky got busted for dealing

Mag had her first kid at 16

I suppose they suffered for their actions

yet even as I put them

in this sociological context

I still wish I had the power then

to beat them

weeping for me to quit it

as I eat my grape Popsicle

and piss

on their bruised

powerless

faces

tossed03 anything your size here?

This particular incident didn’t happen, the names are made up, the kids are real, the family relationship is made up, what happened to these kids as adults is real. I did experience this sort of bullying – the emotional use of a boy younger than me to edge me into a fight then getting pushed around for daring to hit someone younger than me.

tossed02 dump truck dumped

The name calling happened, not always with this level of physical threat – but it left me feeling unprotected, unsupported & vulnerable – which lead me to believe they were right I was gutless, a coward who didn’t want to face anyone fists to defend myself against being whatever it was I had to defend myself for being – sometimes merely for being there, walking down the street.

I recall a few times going to my Dad about it and he told me to walk away from it, to remember that sometimes these kids didn’t have it as well off as I did. I have piece where he tells me to learn to defend myself, which didn’t do anything for my fears. Like most kids I think I wanted rescue from something I didn’t cause, not being told, indirectly, that it was my own fault for not being able to beat them up.

tossed01 need a new bedspread?

The hindsight ‘context’ didn’t come till I was writing the piece, maybe that realization came first, I don’t know, but as I say, the realization that they were as victimized by their context as I was by them doesn’t make it any easier to get through.

ufo they’re here for you

3 thoughts on “Grape Popsicle

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