A House On Gold Street Poem by Richard Dorrough

A House On Gold Street

I have memories from
When I was a child
But I am grateful
I do not have many

I remember our house
A two story on Gold street
A gray shingle with aged white shutters
Dirty walls and a broken porch

I had a cap gun when I was four
Which I stuck in an electric outlet
My mother beat me with a spoon
For being stupid

There were nine of us
And only two of them
I did not spend much time
On my mothers lap

I was at Grandpas upstairs
He was at the Maxs tavern
A man tried to break in the back door
Bobby was only ten but he fought like a man

I remember my grandma
Getting real sick
She called for me
Asked my mom'To send the Boy'

I brushed her hair
And got her things
Held ice on her swollen legs
But she died on me anyways

Dad worked at two jobs
Mom was never home it seems
Then one day she was gone
I was only five and cried alot

The women in black skirts
Came and took us
Two and three at a time
I went to live with grandpa and Bobby

Then came the day when grandpa
Got drunk at Maxs and mad at everything
Everyone managed to get out of the way
But me

He told the black skirted lady
How sorry he was he had knocked me out
I believed him because I was only five
But they took me away like the others

I stayed with dad for a little while
But he took me to the judge
And in an angry voice said
'He is to go with the rest'

They took me to live on a farm
With my two younger brothers
I remember fresh cold milk
And fishing in the pond

My brothers were babys and tiny
Which helped alot because the closet was small and dark
The one they used to lock us in
For days at a time

What else could I do
I ran as far as I could
I lived in the woods for a few days
They found me and took me back

I remember the witch costume
Mr Moshier would wear
And shriek at us until we wet ourselves
And Mrs Moshier tying strings around our willys

The black skirted lady came again
And counted the scars and bruises
I remember the house fading in the distance
Wondering what it would be like when I was seven

My mother came and got us
After a few years
She was very upset
She had other plans

I turned seven that year
And began my long years
Of Stepfather training
Just wanted to say Thanks Mom

I am glad the memories are few
I am sure I have forgotten some
Or perhaps I remember more than I can admit
But my dreams are easing a bit

Sometimes I feel like the house on Gold Street
Grey shingled with aged shutters
A broken porch
And void of a childs laughter

Never thought Id say it
But I look forward to the day
The ladies in Black skirts come again
Ill finally get a good nights sleep

Madhurii Ball 13 September 2005

This is full of sadness. Hope it is'nt completely autobiographical. Nice connection at the end with the leading lines, the grey shutters, again. A disciplined poem, too, managing the orderly 4 line stanzas well. If this is a story of a child's broken dreams, poetry is a healing force, so best wishes for the art of recovery.

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