Necessary Burdens

Another poem of mine published in the Spring of ’96 in Prairie Winds under “E.W. Montgomery-Pool”:

Necessary Burdens
by Edie Montgomery-Pool

We weren’t allowed to walk
To the liquor store,
Except with special permission,
To indulge in the cornucopia
Of candy, comic books,
And Mad Magazines,
One short block away.

And on the hundredth time we passed
By those bushes by the freeway,
Mother told us (for the hundredth time)
About the girl who was raped there,
Until I interrupted to tell her
It was the hundredth time we’d heard this,
And she looked surprised
Thinking it the first.

Every newspaper horror story
Was recounted until memorized,
And there were rules we followed
I doubt anyone else knew,
Like “Don’t Walk Close To Vans.”

Because once mother read
How some men hid in one
Like trap door spiders
Until their prey was close at hand
Then, doors flung wide,
Pulled her in to her demise.

And so we walked through our childhoods,
My sister and I,
With these necessary burdens
On our backs,
And I am grateful to my mother,
Even today,
For showing me the ugliness
As well as the beauty
Of the world.


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