Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Almost Roma

image from pinterest.com

Almost Roma

“The world stopped fighting for me long ago. I had
to rely on self, and pave my own path.”
--Nikki Rowe.

When I was
in Elementary School,
my mother had two marriages,
and I went to ten schools.

I felt like
a gypsy child,
always the outsider,
always the challenger,
always the stranger.

My black tressed
blue-eyed mother,
wore colorful scarves
in her hair, and low cut
peasant blouses,
played the guitar & accordion,
but stopped short
of telling fortunes.

We were a blue collar family
of renters, invading the odors
left behind by others. My parents
bought their first house
after I graduated from high school.

Somehow, even with all that moving,
my folks always found
enough family and friends
with pick-ups and helping hands
that we never gave U-Haul
a dime. God only knows
what they really thought
about our perpetual migrations.

Like outcasts we kept
moving, like shadows seeking
only empty nests.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


Jane Dougherty said...

I do like the final haiku. I don't suppose Romanies care much what people think of them either.

Frank Hubeny said...

Nice lines: "We were a blue collar family
of renters, invading the odors
left behind by others. "

I think that is a sign of friendship that one never gave U-Haul a dime.

Linda Lee Lyberg said...

I love all of this Glenn. I had a similar childhood in the respect that we lived in rentals. I never had a sense of home, other than Texas, my home state. You grow up quickly because life is always taking you by surprise. Perhaps that is why I cherish my home now.

tonispencer said...

I never moved as a child and on past university. I guess we were an upper class family but we had plenty of family members and helped neighbors move. We looked at "gypsies" as mystical people who traveled about and repaired pots and told fortunes. I wanted to be one when I was six. The ending poem to your poem is interesting. It adds a nice touch to your poem.

Grace said...

All those migrations and moving around, can cause headaches. But good that your family was able to find helping hands with family and friends.

That final line is superb!

Dwight L. Roth said...

A challenging story. I love your ending... and this line...
We were a blue collar family
of renters, invading the odors
left behind by others.

Renters often find this the case...

Jade Li said...

Glenn, transience is commonplace for a large portion of the population. That said, depending on the disposition of the individual, it can be more or less traumatizing. I remember my uncle was in the service and they were always moving. My older cousin, who was more introverted, did not adjust well to it. My younger cousin, very extroverted, thrived on it. Being an introvert, I don't do well moving around. Sounds like you probably have volumes of stories from those travels as a kid, but it doesn't seem like you were happy with the ongoing travels/adjustments.

Kim M. Russell said...

This poem has so much movement in its structure, shape and content, Glenn. I moved between grandparents, parents and countries in my youth, and appreciate the feelings you neatly wrapped in the list of three:
‘always the outsider,
always the challenger,
always the stranger’.
I like the phrase ‘invading the odors left behind by others’ and was moved deeply by the image of ‘shadows seeking only empty nests’.

Alexandra said...

"Invading the odors left by others"


lynn__ said...

Glenn, I appreciate your artfully crafted word mosaic of a family on the move in such bold colors!

Xenia Tran said...

It sounds as if there was strong support network and plenty of hands and warmth to help with each move, even though it must have been unsettling. I love the final haiku Glenn

'Like outcasts we kept
moving, like shadows seeking
only empty nests'

robkistner said...

Must have been difficult to make and keep friends. We moved when I was in 8th grade, but we moved to the school with the best football program in the catholic youth football league - so I loved it. The house was bigger, and I formed my first band there. Hand my first secual envounter that year, a hand job from Peggy Geise ... WOW!! I acclimated quickly because of the extracurricular involvements. You must have been on the defensive a lot, knowing how kids are. Probably developed some necessary coping and survival skills. Great piece Glenn, and othe haiku was excellent. This was a different perspective on you dude — thanks for sharing it!

Dr. Crystal Grimes said...

Well done. I especially like the last 2 lines.

Amaya said...

I'm glad you contributed, Glenn, as I know of your um, dynamic childhood from reading other poems over the years. Like other readers, I was taken aback by the line about invading others' odors, as if the odors themselves were the ones offended! This is a very real feeling in the transient life, one of being constantly conscious of taking up another's space, that there is not even one square foot of land available to you, and the air you breathe is borrowed too. I don't quite know myself how to break out of that mindset and declare, "I deserve to be here too." Silver lining though, that your folks never had to hire awful uhaul says so much about not only the love others had for you all, but also the love others felt in your presence. A blessing.