Editor May 16, 2013 0

Poem by Mikel Weisser

Many happy endings
Begin in tragedy
or near it
When i was less than one year old
my mom attempted suicide
a short time after she and my biological father divorced
Needless to say, it was impactful.
Not that i remember much,
I’m told i bounced around from family to family on my mother’s side
and a bit with my father’s mom
but mostly i was cared for by
my grandmother’s maid and her family
I do not remember that much
but i remember some
and i remember that around the time
of my first b-day
my mom came home
& if ever a miracle ever happened on this planet
i betcha that little baby thought
that that was one: Mom
I do remember presents
i remember her face
and i remember feeling that feeling
we can only call, “Yay!”

And that there was this hornet’s nest

We struggled poor
lived with friends
I remember at her looking a lot
and her looking so brave.
I remember the sound of her singing

her roommate was blond
her kids were many
and brave and big
maybe 3 & 5 & six
and i was a lot like two to three
And there was a hornet’s nest
sometime in that time range
a hornets’ nest that tantalized us children
that was our tribal obsession
each and every one of us got stung
and i was the tag-a-long
nervous little arms
reaching up to join their adventures

i was their tag-a-long
and there was this hornets’ nest.

Everywhere we went the hornets’ nest looked down on us.
Every conversation fixated on those buzzing dots of pain.
I remember i stared
at that atom evolving
I stared at that boiling with rage in domed paper
We all stared at that tree
and like a pig head stuck on a stick
there was this hornets’ nest
we were children then
it was the thing we had to destroy

We conspired
to plot its demise
longed for that vengeance
attacked it with a broom
I say we but i stumbled behind
and tumbled away
when they came wailing back
while the broom hung there in that little tree
embarrassing us all
and there was a hornets’ nest
we could not overcome

and the tree , the leaves, those blurring dots of pain
amid the gnarled limbs
became my 3-year old obsession
the tawdriness of the scratched up paint job
of the broom handle an embarrassment to us all
Being the brave one to rescue the broom
was the game paid at the price of a stinging
and i may have been the tag-a-long
but we all tried for that broom
shouted we were heroes
and ran away screaming
I looked to my mom to tell her these adventures
but she was dealing with adventures of her own
so i focused on the job.
i was three years old

then one day i still have no i idea how i harnessed the obsession
and walked bravely into that buzzing battlefield
snatched that broom
pretty as you please
My face alive with Yay!
and marched up to the porch
trumpeting that broom
like i had won my mom herself
But when i brandished the broom
to tell my hero’s tale
my mom startled at the stung children behind me
and that ended that story

she married, life changed
but maybe just partly
i am still reaching for that broom
i still stalk straight into those buzzing battlefields
I still do not know why.
I still expect a miracle
to happen any day
I am still three years old

***This poem was reposted with the permission of Mikel Weisser.