Saturday, December 17, 2011

Strawberry Blonde

At Real Toads,  Marian's prompt was: Strawberry Blonde. Do click on the link, as the other poets participating wrote some terrific poems from this prompt. It made me think immediately of two hair stories from the long-ago..........

Her dad lifted one of her soft red curls,
saying, "You have pretty hair.
Isn't this the color your mom's hair
used to be?"
He was trying to be nice
but she froze him out,
because of what happened
during his blackouts,
that he could never remember.

Her mom said, later,
"You should be nice to your dad.
He is trying hard."
But she was too young
to be forgiving, then.

He died soon after.
No more chances to be nice.
Years more, to forgive.

Her mom was sixteen
when they met -
thin as a rail, beautiful,
with long bleached blonde hair
hanging all down her back.

Her dad was playing in the band,
a Tommy Dorsey song,
but when she walked in,
he set down his saxaphone
and jumped
over the piano
to come down and meet her.

And that was it.
"The only man I ever loved,"
her mother would say,
for the rest of her life.

It was a hard life:
alcohol, raised voices and
bumps and crashes in the night,
poverty, and desperate struggle,
and then his early death.

But at the end,
the blonde bombshell,
who once was a strawberry blonde,
could say, with satisfaction,
somehow, that
"In my life, I had it all."


  1. Some people do have hard lives, but it is hard when it involves a lot of alcohol and raised voices; and for some women, unfortunately, it seems the norm.

  2. So well done, Sherry. You've captured it perfectly.

  3. And sometimes that's just the way it is.

  4. "in my life, i had it all." i just love that.

  5. Marian is too gracious to point out that it is her prompt, not mine. ;-)

  6. Wow Sherry this is such a powerful story....some do have such hard lives....a stunning write! :-)

  7. So much happens behind the scenes, doesn't it? You have really developed this sad story. Poignantly written.

  8. One's life definitely gives a person a lot of great material to work with :-)
    Thanks for reading, kids. Marian, so sorry not to note it was your prompt......I fixed it!

  9. Wow you paint a tale of tragedy and has a Shakespearean feel to me~
    Well Done!

  10. We never know what a life is like behind closed doors...great poem!

  11. I feel so sorry for women who live with alcoholic husbands. I could only imagine how tough life must've been for them. But your poem has been a revelation.

  12. It's the past which brings us to the present. For all it's trials, it teaches us (hopefully) to better better people ourselves. Sad when alcohol steals the person away. Thanks for sharing Sherry, she was such a beauty :)

  13. Love the story... even though it's about a sad life it's real.


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