Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thirteen




Freckle face, ponytail, pedal pushers,
and a bike that was my steed;
together we rode  along the country miles  to the foothills.
In the trees, I was at home.

Indoors, I dove between the covers of a book -
 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, My Friend Flicka,
Thunderhead - to escape my current reality.

In the house, I grew silent and distant, numb.
Away, I clung to my friends, longed for their lives.
My dreams were  of Normal Life:
picket fences, milk bottles on porches, and peace.

The summer I turned thirteen, my father died.
So that was the end of being a child.

Thirteen lines for Susan's Mid Week Motif : Thirteen

32 comments:

  1. I didn't know that. Have you noticed that you look a bit like Candice?

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  2. Up until the death of your father, your 13 looked a lot like my 13--especially if you also read the horse story "Harlequin Hullaballoo" which no one else seems to have heard of--it was a library book. I was silent because with 5 people in 2 rooms, where can you talk? Loved my blue huffy. Peace? Later for that. i'm glad you survived. Excellent poem.

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  3. Thirteen certainly held a lot of grief at such a tender age Sherry. All part of what has made you the poet and star dreamer that you are.

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  4. The trees were my home as well. Sad that some of us had to grow up so young.

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  5. Since my mother died when I was nine, I can totally relate to this. It, s a tough transition from childhood to... something else.

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  6. Ah, you were really a cute kid at 13, Sherry! I am glad you had that bike to ride & your dreams!

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  7. So much of our lives parallel each other's ... reading for escape, fathers who died way too soon, friends and their families who provided safe harbor ... This poem is a gift.

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  8. ugh. what a hard transition...from being a child to having to be an adult...especially at such a transitional phase sherry...your picture made me smile...i was away more on adventures than anything at that age....

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  9. Oh Sherry, what a terrible thing to experience so young - being a child one minute, then having all the cares of the world the next. I too escaped into books all the time, and my Dad was absent for much of my childhood, but not like that. I was just a very confused little girl. Books were my escape from that.

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  10. That lovely girl is still in there, in spite of hardship. Clear to see.

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  11. I was like you too, Sherry. Loved getting away on a bicycle or roaming the woods behind our house and lost myself to books that painted a happier reality. I too longed for the lives of my friends... Thirteen is such a tough age...sorry for your hardships. Love your photo...an open and sweet face.

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  12. What a painful, powerful close.

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  13. How sad & moving Sherry ~ But I love your self portrait of your young life with a bike and books ~

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  14. Sherry, you are one of the kindest spirits I know. You have weathered so much in life and yet you look for the beauty around you. Love the photo...I too escaped my family life through books.

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  15. What a memory to share. Thank you.

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  16. numbers do play a part in the life of a human being but our faith forbids to use them for futuristic prophecy-I was introduced to Cheiro's Numerology and for many years I studied and related it to daily affairs and found that our family was a '4 and 8 ' and so 13 came in -3+1= Value of my name is 8 as it is the 8 pointed Star of the Magi-and then a lot more follows

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  17. Very much like my life at that age. Many of my friends - the same. I suspect a lot of those Dads came back from WW II with post traumatic stress, but back then, the kids just kept their distance - whether they had picket fences and milk bottles on porches . . . or not.

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  18. you were so cute at 13 and hardships have made you stronger and more beautiful...each word of your poems always reflect that beauty Sherry...

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  19. How quickly life can change...there are definitely pivotal moments..and yet it makes us who we are..and that should be celebrated I suppose..however i think normality is a much underrated wish and if given the option to surrender some of the dust for a white picket fence it's tempting to say yes please..you are/ were a sweetie..and pedal pushers - weren't they great!

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  20. At home in the trees or with a good book, the weight of your grief changes to something that makes you wise, so you were able to ride your bike out of childhood with your sense of childlike wonder intact.

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  21. This is a very nice picture of you, Sherry! I loved books too and liked to think my bike was not just a bike.

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  22. YOU are a survivor - I believe those in pain search harder for beauty!
    You were so pretty - I know you have endured a lo t of battles for peace.

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  23. 13 is hard even under the best circumstances, I enjoyed seeing your picture..You have a warrior spirit my friend and that has helped you in your journey.

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  24. Great escape~ this is how we become stronger and writers ~ I was escaping in music/friends/books

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  25. Emotionally profound poem....the normalcy of being thirteen in the first stanzas juxtaposed against the death of a father.....so far from anything any 13 year old should have to endure....so moving.

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  26. The suddenness with which the poem changes from the beautiful childhood to growing up is painful... Its beautifully composed!!!

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  27. How sad. to cease being a child at that tender age.. yes the death of a parent changes a lot...

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  28. A sad reality at thirteen. It was an awkward age all on its own. But to have to deal with the passing of Dad. Was more than you could've imagined. Thanks for the share, Sherry!

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  29. I was quite identifying - until that sudden end shocks the reader (not as much as it must have shocked you!). Beautifully written, Sherry.

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  30. this was all so blissful until the end with the death of your father and you felt grown then. Happy and sad memories. Love them!!!

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  31. There is just so much in this... Teen-age angst and everyday not knowing who you are or who you'll be (at that age) I think many will identify, but the sledgehammer ending took my breath away... Amazingly well written, Sherry, as always!

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  32. fresh-faced girl, but what a burden to you ~

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!