Momma’s Boy Gone Bad


Dear Mother
I am sorry for not coming to visit you,
for not sitting cross-legged in the open field
while reciting confessions. I am sorry
you can not count my thousand thanks
for the many model trains and superheroes
that drove the family debt to somewhere
between impossible and my father’s insanity.
I should have leapt from my bed and came
to your defense late at night when you
screamed at him, demanding the car keys
because you “just wanted to go for a ride”.
I now confess mother. It wasn’t the heroes
I craved. It was you I wanted, not to be shared
with brothers or sisters, just you and me
having French toast in the diner
on Sunday morning, you and me on a train ride
to the city, your voice singing Nature Boy
only to me. I am sorry that you denied yourself
baubles and furs. But I now understand
why you feared the dark, why the TV
stayed on all night, why you couldn’t make
the briefest trip to the nearby market. Someday
I will bite back on my own fears and come
to visit you. I suppose we could reminisce
about model trains. I could try to explain
why there is a machine next to me at
bedtime, recycling white noise like
an old TV after the anthem has concluded.

William Greenfield

William Greenfield

William Greenfield began writing poetry in college, and thanks his daughter for giving him the spark to start writing again. He has spent virtually his entire working career in the public service sector, first with the Federal Government and more recently with New York State. His poems have appeared in The Barbaric Yawp, The Storyteller Magazine, The East Coast Literary Review and other publications. He lives up in Sullivan County New York in the middle of the woods, and he likes it there.
William Greenfield

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