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anger’s son – dverse

April 28, 2015

I am anger’s child
Hidden amidst the small town
Where the neighbor’s dinner bell rang
Near dusk, and in each season
We trudged wearily home
From baseball, basketball, football
On foot or bright red Schwinns.
I am the quiet one,
Who’s friends and dreams
Lived bound in pages.
I am the river’s son
Grasping at spawning carp
Both carp and and boy
Splashing in the shallows
I am the train’s friend
Picking up flattened pennies
Left along the tracks
Once we tubed down the river
Past the yachts to the lake.
Rivers flow to the lakes or seas
And the water never returns.

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From → dverse, poetry

39 Comments
  1. A compelling piece. Rich images which are both subtle and yet strong.
    It evoked a sense of estrangement, maybe loss, certainly a dashing of hope, a certain containment of feelings, loneliness, yet a sense of coping with life as it was,
    The repetitive and poetic use of the line “I am…” works very nicely throughout the piece.
    I enjoyed the poem. Nice.
    Thanks,
    Randy

  2. For me your first line colors the piece- if removed, the poem has a completely different voice. Really felt this and many references are so vivid. Really love this one.

  3. the water never returns…and so we cannot turn back the “river” of our lives, but that river has picked up the silt of its journey and pours it into the ocean or lake that we become. Great piece!

  4. the water never returns – and we are a sum of all the things we went through… it’s a bit like in a painting you know… layer by layer

  5. deep sadness; the strength you put in here is gripping! Being anger’s child helped you in a way, I think.

  6. Wonderful, Bill. So many references to leaving the house (sports until dusk, Schwinn bikes, the river, the train, books), it sounds as if you knew long before 18 what you wanted for your future.

  7. I so resonate with your poem. I was anger’s child too, and my parents were alcoholics (my poem was a looking back at the larger extended family, grandparents, aunts and uncles, not home which was misery)……….very powerful lines about never going back, at your poem’s close. This rang so true for me. I remember heading home at dusk when home wasnt a warm place to return to.

    • thanks – I’m glad it resonated with you – as a poet communicating is so important.

  8. saying you are the trains friend says a lot about your day to day life. it’s powerful that you start the whole thing by saying you are anger’s child.

    My Brain is a Cheap Gadget That Spins

    • from the time I was a child I heard that eighteen I was out of the house. At eighteen I left. We all did. It was just the way it was. The train went places too.

  9. “I am the train’s friend / Picking up flattened pennies” …..uh oh ….that was a dangerous childhood..smiles..

    • I still have a couple somewhere, flattened, enlarged and curled by the train wheels as they passed over them.

    • the best was walking over the train tracks on the bridge, knowing if the train came you would have to hang over the ravine while the train passed over you – only did that a couple of times 🙂

  10. Glenn Buttkus permalink

    I think I heard more Billy Joel than the Boss, with some strains of Meloncamp; phrases from Capote or Lee–really enjoyed the direction you went, & the hooks /anger’s child/river’s son/the train’s friend/ were superlative. One of the marks of good poetry is that you do not want it to end–you are left wanting some more; this is such a poem.

  11. A sadness runs through this, even more than anger. But anger is healthy and perhaps it motivated you to leave. Enjoyed reading this soulful piece.

  12. I enjoyed your poem and its wistful tone , Bill, and what you chose to show of the place you are from. I can particularly relate to ‘Whose friends and dreams / Lived bound in pages.’

  13. I really get a picture of your childhood from this poem, Bill. Love these glimpses…the red Schwinn, the dinner bell, the carp, the tubing, etc. I like the style of your poem too…and yes a bit of Springsteen!

  14. Oh yes.. I had the same feeling of Bruce Springsteen.. that anger mixed.. I also like the change of tense like you went from memory through flashbacks into present tense, or maybe it’s still alive within…

    • thanks – it was a factory town, very blue collar, so maybe there is a little Springsteen there – hi praise.

  15. Thank you for sharing your history – some fascinating similarities with my own, including the friends and dreams bound in pages.

    • yes – in my day we used to be able to buy a book for a dollar, and when we went to the department store to shop if they let me get a book ( Tom Swift, or Hardy Boys ) – it was a grand day indeed.

  16. Thank you for this look into a different world 🙂

  17. Direct and cutting piece this was! With the hints of sadness, there was also a touch of innocense – the flattened coins especially. Very well done!

  18. A bit of a Bruce Springsteen feel to this… Small-town America and the anger of feeling stuck and misunderstood.
    I do think you have an extra ‘and’ in the line ‘Both carp and and boy’, don’t you?

    • it’s tough to be bookish in a blue collar place – thanks I have corrected the typo, appreciate it.

  19. Oh my goodness.. i can certainly relate raised by a river.. cane poles.. a railroad track shaking the home like thunder all through humid nights while frogs sing a melody loud and clear of life…

    Ah.. yes.. and then the anger does come.. from a culture that cannot understand me.. and a culture
    i cannot understand.. as well.. through problems with speech.. but nows do come and now is much more clear to me.. and truly sad.. rather than anger of the plight i see for others..

    who do not see.. what i for one see.. of life more fuller off the tracks of culture..:)

    • thanks – sometimes all we want is to fit in, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

      • Yes.. and to learn to appreciate both the times we do fit and don’t fit in, is freedom, at least for me..:) in treasuring and never fearing Unique..:)

        A lesson of all ages for me; now finally learned well..:)

        and appreciated even better.. AS WELL..:)

  20. Oh this is just awesome. I am reminded of a book in which Stephen King wrote, time is like a river… sadness in this poem but the flattened pennies (I did that!) and the splashing carp and trudging home – so much in this. I had to read it several times and truly savored it. Excellent and meaningful.

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