A Clumsy Childhood | Teen Ink

A Clumsy Childhood MAG

April 21, 2011
By Joel Thomas BRONZE, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Joel Thomas BRONZE, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

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
a flight of stairs,
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
But we were different.
We had clumsily fallen,
but we stood back up.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Apr. 10 2013 at 7:18 pm
ChrisJ PLATINUM, Rochester, New York
24 articles 15 photos 289 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.

This was told very well, and the story was very captivating, great job!