Momma, Max Factor & The Catholic Church
If i were to tell ya how i felt bout this man
first ya might wanna laugh, but a’ course
ya woodn’t cuz you could see in my eyes the passion
an’ you’d wanna hear the story, but there ain’t
no more story. it's over. i mean it's done.
there ain’t one drop a’ nothin between us, but
mostly there’s no body left.
Ya see, when we fell in love
he saw who he'd been looking for since
he was just a little tyke when his momma
walked out on him. It made him so scared, he started figthin
right from the start in all kinda ways with me instead.
Now don’t ask me how sane folks could do
somethin so crazy as tanglin an’ wrastlin over mostly nothin,
but finally we both saw that’s what was happenin,
he even said it. Add on top a’ that we owned a business
an’ were riding around in a truck all day together.
So, he's lovin me who he saw as
some perfect somethin or other,
an me, i'm lovin the guy i see he could be,
but instead a’ being happy, i was more afraid a’ us
than if i'd been facin off with some wild cat.
i ain’t been that scared since i was a little girl
fightin with my big brother, worryin somethin awful
would happen if he got any madder,
me, who wasn’t afraid of nothin, an’ always had
a smart comeback, i couldn’t find no words
to make either one of ‘em stop.
Now, i knew there was somethin not quite right about
who we thought we were fightin an’ lovin, but
there was so much love, i thought i’d die if i lost him.
So, we kept trying to fix it, but almost tearin the earth
out from under, then we'd cry cuz we'd hurt each other
an’ we'd be sorry an’ close an’ then, it'd happen again.
Sometimes i'd be shakin so hard i'd have to stop what i was
doin just to keep from fallin down. One time
when he was mad an’ i began to shake, i thought, Wait a minute!
He's just a puny little thing, no stronger then me, i could
make pancakes outta him! Why am i so scared?
That was the beginnin of me seein he wasn’t
a monster bully, but some shadow from my past,
an’ when he began to see i wasn’t gonna do it
no more, well, i quit lookin like that wonderful
momma he'd been cravin since she locked him
in the closet, an’ he admitted he couldn’t love for fightin.
When we got so we weren’t seein who wasn’t there
we realized we didn’t recognize who was
so that’s when we began to disappear. i ain’t never
disappeared before an’ it sure does ache from a feelin
inside a’ empty like i'd been swallowed up
by the bottom of an ole dried up well, a blackness
that ain’t got no sound, no name, no breath.
Not only did i finally rip away my dream of who he was
but i lost my own me image in the bargain, at least
the me i'd been wearing all a’ those years,
an’ without her i wasn’t sure who was hiding inside a’ me.
The pain was there, the love, the used to be knowin each other,
but the us? the people? we just faded inta some fog bank
just disappeared. There just wasn’t
no body left there anymore.
A few years after that, he drown saving his daughter.
And I gave myself a new name.
Sharon Lopez Mooney, “Living with daughters”, from Sybil Journal, ed. & publ. H.D. & Stephen R. Spencer, Nominated for "Best of the Net" award; https://www.sybiljournal.com/work-2/2021/9/23/3-poems-by-sharon-lopez-mooney