from the Fall issue: Marla Sink Druzgal. If I Could Change.

6 Sep


If I could change the way I lost my father, who died suddenly when I was sixteen which was not sweet, who had already left us years before for a red-headed woman who was only a whore even when I forgave my daddy, and if I had not said to him the night he died, after he failed a test for the LVPD, 

“It could have been worse, Dad, you could have had a heart attack” so the guilt mingled with my mother’s words that he didn’t know Jesus, I would not have made the deal with God to eat his sins, and then look for him in every bad man I would let inside me, and try to resurrect his four-pack-a-day habit until I said “no more”

Then I might change the way I lost my sweet grandma Hazel, whose house smelled like Cashmere Bouquet and had bananas and cookies and hugs, who had lost her life years before she died to a booze-infested writer who was lucky enough to marry the sweet, pretty pianist who lost her great love to a car crash, an obituary I read after she died and asked my mother how the man in the paper was related to us but he wasn’t, she said, but we might have come from him, 

if he had lived, since Grandma Hazel loved him but instead married the alcoholic son of a minister who drank away her dowry money from modest Titusville Oil, leaving my mother with memories of watching the winter road swerve beyond her father’s drunken wheel, winters of onions and potatoes and Christmas only from the Salvation Army, who though they saved her, 

reject her gay grandson, who she loved until (and maybe after) she died of Pancreatic cancer where the diagnosis is always and only death, and I always wondered if it was the years of onions and potatoes or the poor breast milk from her stressed and lovelorn mother, or the stress of her own true love’s desire to stick his dick into everyone else but her because you are frigid, he said,

which might have been because of the secrets she told of her sister and a man at the rock pile, that she said she only witnessed, but that it did not happen to her, because it could not have happened to her, because things like that don’t happen to your mother, and if they did, you can’t talk about them even when she is dead, because

I have thought of changing the story of how I lost my mother, whose death killed my mind, and my sense of direction, and after which I waited, wondering when the cancer of the Pancreas where the only diagnosis is death would take me, and while I waited I began drinking coffee, like her, and eating more sugar, like her, 

and using the face creams my mother used, and why our lives are the same and different and imagining whether it would be the cigarettes or a rectal pocket or the cancer where the only diagnosis is death to take me, leaving someone, maybe you, to read this crying or angry or scratching your head, or angry, or trying to eat my sins

5 Responses to “from the Fall issue: Marla Sink Druzgal. If I Could Change.”

  1. vinita18 September 6, 2014 at 14:22 #

    Naked and powerful. I admire the courage that went into writing this!

  2. travelingmarla September 6, 2014 at 17:58 #

    Reblogged this on Marla Sink Druzgal and commented:
    A poem of mine, featured today at Pea River Journal

    • Patricia September 6, 2014 at 18:10 #

      We love this powerful, necessary poem.

  3. Anthony Martin September 8, 2014 at 15:53 #

    “…leaving my mother with memories of watching the winter road swerve beyond her father’s drunken wheel…”

    Fantastic imagery. I’m right there.


  1. Traveling Marla writes a poem that makes me cry | Caroline Tanski - September 8, 2014

    […] dear, wonderful, luminous friend Marla has a poem up at Pea River Journal. It is, to my reading, about the echoes felt through generations of the choices each of us makes, […]

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