Plain faced

Published June 1, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Real down-home…


They didn’t tell me

I was born ordinary

I felt it, a prickle in my bones, growing

plain-faced, my father reminded me

“work on your personality”

my mother, beautiful, smart

didn’t understand how a child of hers

could struggle to spell

behind thick glasses and a lazy eye

then she packed up and left

we were making an art of being fragmented

the other kids had families, after-school-clubs

swing sets, puppies, they hung upside down

and even then, looked the part, white teeth

straight backs, glossy well brushed hair

as if they had read a script on how to be

(able to survive the world)

and knew all the secrets

they didn’t tell me why I didn’t fit in

it wasn’t autism, no label, no category

a box of unopened reasons sat

in a dirty suitcase

on my kitchen table from 6 to 14

I ate my breakfast cereal reading…

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