The Autobiography Of Little Beaver - Poem by Doug Stewart
There were times, growing up, when we ate
Pretty low on the hog, never abject poor, but never
Object rich. Still, we did eat. Mother was a kitchen
Magician, and her make-do was better than most’s
Still, we never went hungry, never lacked for new
Clothes when the need was strong. Mother’s sewing
Machine saw to that. Ancient, fifth-hand peddle machine
Converted to electricity with a thick chord and big black plug,
Smells in the wall.
Done in the Flapper Age, two big brass screws held the wires
That made drapes and shirts and dresses. Singer it was. We moved
Every year and every year that Singer found its place of honor by a
Window; bright light, straight stitch. And we got Television in
1952, Black and White.
Philharmonic, ancient brand. Father was a huntermachineist with a
Dark side. Controlled by Mother, he put his belts back in the closet.
But he always got his bucks, pheasants, squirrels, rabbits. They all
Went into the mompot and came out food. Schools were never the
Same next year.
But summers were great, made of parks and pools and roaming
Bicycles along the creek. Found rusted bear traps and silver coins
Italian; pennies American and shiny pebbles. Classic Comics taught
Ancient tales of gods and heroes, war and peace and lost on a raft
With Tom Sawyer.
And through it all, the good, the bad, and the angst of the preteen,
Through ads for Charlie Atlas in comics, where skinny got sand kicked
In his face and came back in bulk to kick ass. Ads for Slinkys, bikes,
Cards—amaze your friends—and X-Ray eyeglasses. But I never got a
Red Ryder BB Gun.
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