we did not grow up with buttercups and daisies,
delphinium cascading the landscape
of some palatial estate
we had pachysandra
and a burned out tree on the side of our house
you could not smell the ocean breeze from our seaside deck
but on a bad day made sure the windows were closed
to keep out the funk of an overflowing septic tank
we did not have orange blossoms
and lemon trees to look at
but an apple tree
which birthed too much fruit for a mother and 2 children
dozens upon dozens of rotting brown apples
apples with worms
apples that turned to mush as we tried to pick them up
no butterflies or hummingbirds,
no curios fawn munching happily
in our fragrant botanical gardens
but there were bees
lots and lots of angry bees
who had built their nests in the various holes in the yard
there was at one point a garden mole
who left a labyrinth of dirt trails
throughout the backyard in which we played
before I took it upon myself to fix the problem
and you can fix a lot of problems
with a broom handle and bucket of water
nothing, of course, the great poets would ever write about
and I’ve done a great disservice
painting a picture of the wealth and beauty
in our quaint little hometown
but I don’t want to talk about wealth,
I don’t care for it
it brings monotonous images to mind
of sitting carefree in front of the fireplace,
sipping artisan coffee
with homemade lingonberry scones
topped with hand churned sweet butter
nothing on today’s schedule
and nothing that needs to be done
the good life…or is it?
is it living, never knowing the feeling
of peeing freely on the backside of a friend’s garage?
is it living never having been so drunk
you awoke the next morning
to a puke stained handprint on the bedroom wall or
driving anxiously down the highway stuck in second gear
because the clutch and gearshift
just won’t do what they are supposed to do?
eating a whole bag of caramel popcorn
or pint of ice cream or a large pizza
by yourself just to say, “Yes, I did!”
why don’t we leave it at that?
you have your memories of living
and I have mine
you’ve read The Great Gatsby
while I prefer The Great Santini

Image credit:pen_ash

Ken Tomaro is a writer living in Cleveland, Ohio. His work centers around everyday life with depression. Sometimes blunt, often dark but always grounded in reality.

He has 4 full-length collections of poetry: Home Is Where the Headstones Are, An Angry Year, Paralysis & Potholes and Perogies (through Alien Buddha Press) available on Amazon.