by SUSANNE MARIE

20TH CENTURY

I am a survivor of severe brain injuries which had been caused by the blunt force of actions from my mother.  I was only 3.

 

I'm now a happy grandmother, living a productive and content life, but there's not a day when I don't feel the repercussions of my childhood devastation.  The following is a piece I had written for my granddaughter, in which I subconsciously express the history of my life and the history of my survival, all in the form of a monologue poem in her childhood voice.

 

 . . . . . . . . .

I was born in the 20th century and I know it was near the millennium right?

But sometimes…yes sometimes I get this little feeling sometimes

That its still hanging over me this past..THE past that I wasn’t ever

In attendance for…segregation or lunch counter riots.

Sometimes I think people

 Are in that past All by themself IKR ?

My American ancestors suffered greatly back then I know,but

I have no desire to clean or cook fried chicken for you.

I never tap danced in my life and never will

I have a desire to learn, sing and to become very famous.

Rich? Yes that would work out just fine too (laughing )

I’d come back to my small little city and wave

Like remember me? Yes that's right.

But for now I just have to say I’m not famous nor am I rich,

I live in a small town with old values like…

I am a girl with a bad temper and I must hate school right?

I’ll steal, lie and might beat you up if you don’t ignore me

So passerby will not smile at me and

 the cashier will not touch my hand.

 

They know me alright…NO they don’t know me at all.

Because I don’t do any of those things they think.

 I’m a cup of hot chocolate with a dap of whip cream

I’m new thick buttery and sweet syrup I’m nobody’s aunt alright.

That greets your morning. I can be.

With a bag of chips (laughing)

And like all girls dream I dream too.

As a child I wanted to be a power puff girl too.

And I only know one thing you may want to know

I have a song all day to sing any works on the radio.

I’ll sing gospel and a little rock n roll but that’s

How you’ll ever know me. Listen to my voice.

Listen while I try to hit the highs and lows

Then maybe just maybe you too can be

In the year it is. Know that I am a

Rose bud watered and well fed

That the future lay ahead with full

Promise of hope and aspirations

That the rearview mirror only

Holds what is left behind

And where ever I am

Cant hold me still unless

I’ve succeeded all what I needed

To accomplish

Never right?

 

 

Susanne Marie is a survivor-poet in Minnesota.  Her writings center on themes of survivorhood, resilience, and family.