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A Clumsy Childhood This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I was the toddler lying
in the snow,
paralyzed under thick
layers of Wisconsin
winter armor.
I cried because
a friendly golden retriever
pinned me to the ground
just to say “hello”
with its slobbering tongue.

I was a child of habit,
watching “The Nightmare
Before Christmas” daily,
doubtlessly scarring me.
I ate bologna sandwiches
just as often;
except that I undressed
the sandwich,
leaving only the bologna.

My own clothing has been
a geeky clutter
of Mighty Morphing
Power Rangers
and laceless loafers.
I have donned the sacred
Green Bay Packers apparel
to celebrate the
only religious thing
about my family’s Sunday.
I’ve inherited
my brother’s taste in shoes.
When I bought
my first pair of Chucks
I vowed to keep them
in mint condition,
but two weeks later
they were as tattered as his.
I have spent hours
in my father’s basement piano studio.
I was used to
Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart
wafting up from
the chilly subterranean.
I clad myself in socks
until my feet
got tangled
on the way down
to the studio.
I mustered the strength
to say, “Dad,
I think I fell,”
before the tears started
to rain.

I had my heart broken
by the same basement,
when I saw
my own father cry.
only he didn’t cry because
he fell
or tripped
or scraped his knee
on the coarse carpet.
He cried because
he sent the family
down
a flight of stairs,
tumbling
into the unfamiliar depths
of divorce.
I knew plenty of kids
from broken homes.
I had heard about
their terrible home lives,
about how their shattered families
relied on violence to feel
anything.
But we were different.
We had clumsily fallen,
but we stood back up.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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ChrisJ This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 10, 2013 at 7:18 pm
This was told very well, and the story was very captivating, great job!
 
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