Saturday, September 4, 2021



Wild Woman, before she knew
she was Wild Woman,
once packed up a little yellow Pinto with:
a ten day old baby, two small sons,
a St. Bernard puppy (who grew!),
an English pram, an Underwood typewriter,
and assorted cereals, breads and cold cuts.
That's the Before shot.
(Note the high-water jeans!)

Behind the wheel was
an alcoholic con man,
temporarily disguised as
My Baby's Daddy,
with his calculating eye
and a beer never far
from his right hand.

Down Highway 101 we rolled,
past the glorious ocean
at which he refused to stop,
past the Monarch butterfly migration,
which we flew through,
because he was always rushing
to get Somewhere Else.

My baby daughter smiled
her first smile at me,
on that long drive.

We lived in and out of the car,
our own Hotel California,
for two months, give or take.
He had promised to get a job
and "look after you for a change"
but that didn't happen.
My kids grew lean and hungry
and once I wrote
the only bad cheque of my life
to get them some food.
(I repaid all of what
this entire aberration cost,
for years.
But it was all worth it,
to have my sunny little daughter.)

It was an adventure.
There were high moments, laughter,
the feeling of being young, and alive,
along with the worry
of living on the absolute edge
of desperation;
there was the coming to see
exactly how impossible
my life had come to be.

Late fall, we pointed
the nose of the car north,
and made our way back up the coast.
I looked out at all the little houses,
the small yards, men washing cars,
kids playing,
moms hanging their wash out on the line,
and Normal had never looked
so good to me.

Note: on return, he hit the road, and I was able to start my life over again from scratch, not for the first time, and not for the last. There is more to this story, but I'll save it for my memoir, LOL.


  1. This touched a part of me that fictional poetry never touches. I am so deeply moved by your story.

  2. First thought -- that's an awful lot to put in a *Pinto!* The shocks had to be sagging. Hmm... maybe that's an image for another poem... Glad you are able to hold on to that first smile. That's a lot of baggage to carry.

  3. Write that memoir. Do it. The sign of a good writer is when the reader wants to know more...more please. I have had the kind of life before I became reclusive that people would always should write a
    book...Normal uneventful and boring are treasured situations for me now too.

  4. Your memoir would be an interesting and informational read for one marrying a man who might otherwise turn out bad for them. I am sorry for this portion that was so bad. Most of us though have had some bad, I did with my first wife, she decided that one of her adult students was better than me. That marriage didn't last a year. Her fourth one finally stuck.
    We had a little yellow 1972 Ford Pinto hatchback. It went nearly around the states and our little one grew from a baby in it to a five year old. Then our house and cars flooded with three and four feet of water.
    And yes, the Mustang is mine, a 1998 GT model. As with all other cars since before we married 48 years ago, I bought it used.

  5. 'there was the coming to see
    exactly how impossible
    my life had come to be' - cannot imagine how stressful this must have been with three little ones to care for.

    The photo of your daughter is beautiful.

  6. Echoing requests for your memoir. Your poems are strength and hope.

  7. So much of loss life and lessons and how it is part of the journey to where we end up. This really moved me my friend!! Your memoir will be magnificent and inspiring Sherry!!

  8. Life is the ultimate road trip, and it doesn't come without mishaps and disasters, but who would want to just stay home? Loved this Sherry, and good to see you writing.

  9. Your life and you are a never ending fascination. Love how you unfold it bit by wonderful/difficult bit!

  10. Looking forward to other episodes of your memoir

    Happy you dropped by to read mine


  11. Before a person starts to repair their life, there is always a moment when reality smacks us in the face. I am often astounded how far we are able to come, from that place.

    1. 100% in agreement with you. there always comes that point...

  12. "Normal had never looked so good to me" had me in tears. You are a survivor! With everyone else, waiting for your memoir!

  13. Love the story Sherry. Very moving. Up from the rungs of stress and survival to go forward with lots of responsibilities


  14. Yes, I would love to read your memoir. Surviving isn't pretty, but it sure builds grit in those who make it through.

  15. This went straight to my heart, made me think about some of my past adventures. I would love to read more.

  16. Sherry,thank you for sharing some of your story here. I have to believe that all of our "adventures" happen for a reason. Like you said, you got your beautiful baby daughter during this time. I hope you do write your memoir.

  17. Sounds like a life well lived and a memoir well worth the wait....


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