Monthly Archives: July 2007

Writers Tag- The War Between Bonnie & Billy

The War Between Bonnie & Billy

“Do I love him or do I hate him?” she asks herself everyday as her feet hit the floor.

Bonnie is alone in the dining room as the sun breaks through the window. She is sitting at the kitchen table staring into her almost empty cup of coffee wondering if life has to continue the way it has been for over twenty years. Her kids are grown finally and have families of their own. She wonders why should she continue to stay.

The silence in the house is deafening, as she looks around at all the work she put into making the home a wonderful place for her children and a clean place for her husband. The shit she has tolerated all these years. Years before tears would have fallen from her eyes, as she would have thought over these things. It is different now. She is detached and numb to what once was there in her heart and in her home.

Billy stumbles down the stairs for his daily shower before he has to head to work. Bonnie doesn’t bother fixing breakfast anymore and Billy doesn’t bother asking. It is as if she isn’t even sitting in the chair he passes by. They speak no words.

Her cup is empty now and as she refills her coffee he heads out the door. As he closes the door she walks by and latches the lock. She stands there watching him get into the black Ford pickup truck he’s had for over ten years. That would be obvious to a stranger from the rust stains and worn black interior. She sips from her steaming cup as he backs out of the driveway. Things have not always been this way. No. It use to be much more chaotic.

Before silence took over the home it was filled with violence. The man loves his drink. The drink made him feel robust in his younger days. He could take on the world like a macho man could when he was drunk. These were things he was taught from his dad.

Bonnie married Billy young to escape an unhappy home. She left the unhappiness in her childhood home only to enter into her own unhappy home. Within a few years it would become a war zone between two married people.

The woman had to be a perfect wife and mother, especially when he drank, and that was every day. His home had to be perfectly clean and his dinner had to be ready when he came home. The four children had to be well behaved or she would be the one to answer for the screw-ups. She didn’t mind doing these things. She loved her house clean, she loved cooking and doing what a wife would do, and she certainly loved her children very much. She did mind however that he felt the need to beat her up when it wasn’t good enough for him. Sometimes he would beat her up simply because he was pissed off. As years passed the reasons the beatings came became more indistinct.

to be continued

The Burial Day

It was the longest drive I had ever taken. It was cold, bitter cold. The highway was empty of life. The funeral procession went on for miles. I sat in the passenger seat staring out the window as we drove. Recollecting memories of him. I was trying so hard to clinch to every memory I could to help prevent me from forgetting him. The tears never stopped. I dreaded the dirt road.

The dirt road was long leading to the farm. I spent so many summers there. My heart ached so badly when we reached that road. That dirt road led to where my dad would be put to rest. It would be on the hilltop where he wished to be put. There were to many miles between for us to linger there daily. Maybe that was his plan. Perhaps he wanted to prevent us from living the rest of our lives over his headstone. We buried him in March of 1996.

The soldiers stood there with the rifles on their shoulders. The cars wrapped around where my dads body lay. A casket of silvery gray if I remember correctly.

The car comes to a stop. I sit there for a few moments not sure if I was going to be able to take the walk to the casket. All you could hear was the weeps from family members as I opened the car door. I step out slowly. My entire body shook and the tears flowed so freely down my cheeks. I closed the car door slowly. I placed my hands on the roof above the door and rested my head on my arms. I thought about the walk to the casket in those few moments. I knew it was not going to be easy.

I stepped away from the car and turned to face the casket just ahead. Each step I took it felt like I was going to pass out. My body was still shivering as I walked towards my mom sitting in front of my dad lying there. I shivered but I could not feel the cold. I actually felt very warm. I guess your body warms up when you are faced with such a distressful event like burying your dad.

I sat down beside my mom. My dad’s sister was on my other side. My brothers were standing behind us sitting there in front of dad. The casket was closed but my mom demanded that it be opened during the service. I remember her crawling up to my dad and clinching onto the suit he wore. My brothers brought her back to her seat beside me. I stared at him lying there and the only thing I could hear was the heavy breathing, the weeps and moans that surrounded me. I remember looking over my shoulder to my oldest brother who tried his hardest to comfort mom. Seeing the tears swell up in his blue eyes made this even more unbearable.

I couldn’t tell you the words that fell from the preacher’s mouth. I couldn’t tell you every member that stood there with us mourning. I couldn’t even tell you what I wore that dreadful day. Many people surrounded me that day but I felt a loneliness that could have unsettled the entire world. It was the hardest day of my life and I don’t see too many ahead of me that can top the day I had to bury my dad. For years I could not remember my dad was buried in a gray suit.

My dad had no hair at death. The chemotherapy he had to endure prevented him from having it grow back. He looked so peaceful though lying there. They put on the tie I bought for him the Christmas before. While I looked upon his body lay there lifeless with a peace surrounding him I would picture him before the cancer. I would play out past memories that I shared with him growing up. Those memories might have been the only reason I was able to sustain burying him that day.

It was ending and they had to close up the coffin. My brothers and I held mom back while they closed him up. She tried so hard to reach him once more. Suddenly I hear shots from the soldiers who stood behind us all in the cemetery. It was a salute to my dad for serving his country during Vietnam. I couldn’t even tell you how many shots rang out. Some of the things that day are so cloudy and distant I can’t be absolute. For a stranger that would have been on looking the service was over. For my family and I it was far from over.

The crowd separated and people returned to their cars. I couldn’t stand to my feet. My legs were so weak I had to be held while we walked back to my car. I was grief stricken. I finally reach the car and sit down in the passenger seat. I had not closed the door yet and my brother Jeff walked up and handed me shell casings. The shell casings from the shots fired by the soldiers there. I clinched them in my hands so tightly they left indents on the palm of my hand.

The cars began to move as people left the cemetery. We drove by my dad’s final resting place and I just stared out the window at where he would be for eternity. I have only been to his resting place once in the eleven years he has been gone. That must have been his plan. To be placed next to his family in that small cemetery far enough away from us that we would not waste our days grieving over his death bed. Certainly if he was more accessible to me I’d be there everyday. He must have known.

I go over the burial day frequently. I do so in order to guarantee I remember him. I replay many memories for the same reason. I refuse to forget…

Pity

Forgetting the importance,
to what’s placed to the back shelf.

To stay afloat the waters deep.
Holding tight to dreams they keep.
Drowning themselves in thoughtless pity.
Losing control, along with dignity.
Slashing their own heart,
with sold words in their ear.
Not healing themselves,
with bought respect they smear.
Make a casting of new.
Remember yourself, you are less than few.
One you stand at your violent call.
To hide behind fear, you withdrawl.
A bond in you, only one can break.
Pity you, selfish partake.
Life is not roses, nor a sweet misty rain.
Release all of that self worthless claim.

Not one outside can clear your name.
Nor fix the anguish you proclaim.
Just one that sits there,
can truly care.

The hate within yourself,
is what should be placed to the back shelf.
You portray yourself in the worlds mirror.
Dust your image, make it clear.
Don’t use those words that cut you low!
Just makes life move much too slow.
Rise from the pit you place yourself in.
Come out fighting, life to win!
Quit passing the chance you have to live.
More than hatred you’ve got to give.

People see you as you want them to see.
A shallow lost soul, that will never be free?
Show them better with magic you hold.
You own words, you use to self scold.
In the end, the outside will look in and claim…
Self pity this is…that is the name.

Not one outside can clear your name.
Nor fix the anguish you proclaim.
Just one that sits there,
can truly care.

~A Whistled Goodbye~

A night bird calls me from a distant willow.
It sings to me as I lay my head on my pillow.
His melody tells me things that only my ears could hold

If you awake tomorrow you’d be so bold.
For the sorrow will still shine,
but tonight I’ll keep you with mine.

He sings so slowly and paces each verse.
He whistles over the wind, and silences the curse.

I say

Maybe tonight I can be within his heart,
and tomorrow I will face being torn apart.

You know you’ll lose the next time around.
The same you’ll feel as before, he’ll leave with no sound.
Come with me. I’ll whistle away the torment.
So when you look down, he’ll be on his knees to repent
.

With his breath so sweet my attention is won,
and I know he knows I feel alone.

He’ll say

Forgive me and take away the burden.
That I left that lovely woman alone and hurting.
Her tears I never heard splash even with my head turned.
I took her love for granted, and now I am the one burned.

So come with me my sweet love.
Coast with the wind so high above.
Yes, take your life that is damned anyway.
It will still hurt if you awake another day
.

I close my eyes with the last shot heard.
I soon…
Will fly along…
With that whistling night bird….

We’ll Bury You Today- written in 1996

We’ll bury you today,
and I’m not sure what to say.
We’ll dress you in that new suit and tie.
Soon will be our final goodbye.
You’ve left a family gone strangers,
children with broken hearts.
No way for us to pick up our families missing parts…
I’ve asked why this, why today?
I’m not sure what to say.

The loneliness surrounds us all.
As we watch mom hug the casket and crawl,
trying to touch your sweet face once more,
makes me ache to the deep core…

We’ll bury you today,
and there isn’t much anyone can say.
You were loved and now lost,
today we have to let you go…
deaths cost.

An ember of a flame went out.
You’ll be missed without a doubt.
How will I survive this world alone?
Without my best friend, I’m grown.
Little girl for so many years.
What am I to you now? A puddle of tears.

We’ll bury you today,
and the sky has gone gray.
They cover your bed where you lay,
and we’ll not see your face another day.
Rest in peace dad and wait for me.
I feel very sad but I know you’re free.

(published in 1996)