For all the child video game heroes who face unbeatable bosses

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First off, allow me to say:
Thank you
Shukran
Gracias
Asante
Merci
Dankë
Grazie
To all who commented and reblogged my last post

Due to the overwhelming response (judged by the number of tears it caused), I thought it would be a good idea to officially dub this a “turn on the waterworks” week. And, as April is not only National Poetry Month, but National Child Abuse Prevention Month as well (thanks SummerSolstice
for the heads up), there is no worthier way to shed tears than being in solidarity with the kids that live in horror movies.

Although I love to keep it lighthearted up in this blog, I think that this cause warrants attention. Not only that, but after beginning teaching it almost feels like an obligation to raise my voice for these students who otherwise have no one to speak up for them. So, for the rest of the week, I am not going to depress you with statistics and facts, but will instead be featuring poetry that raises awareness about domestic violence and abuse. And don’t worry, contest winners, my nose is still to the grindstone working on your prizes as well.

They are an amazing organization right in my neighborhood and I urge you all to contribute as well (if you can manage, of course). Either way, you should check them out. And while I’m at it, support SummerSolstice if you can as well.
She is bravely working to become an Abuse Awareness facilitator, educating those who work with children about warning signs and support programs.

And now, to the meat and potatoes (or, if like me, you are a vegetarian, the Tofurkey and quinoa) of the day, some straight up cray poetry. I wrote this after speaking to a college friend about her childhood. She told me her story so nonchalantly, as if it’s something every kid has to go through. Hopefully, it won’t be so common in years to come:

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My parents always get in fights on Friday nights
For G.

Every Friday
from the time right after work
my dad gets super wasted
usually on Jack or other bourbon
He sits on the couch
turns all the lights out
and listens to Mexican love songs
Or Michael Jackson
“Papi, can you hear me?”

Always he sings really loud
then sometimes he cries
By that time
me and my mami try
to leave the house or else
Or else
or else
Sometimes we don’t make it and the music stops
.
.
.
“Papi, can you hear me?”

He shouts madre’s name
“Pamela!”
and they yell and scream
temper tantrums at each other
with fists beating like drums
until dad returns to the soft loveseat
and presses play on the
ancient cassette tape
Madre locks herself in her room and sobs
softly and my dad lights candles
and plays his music
Always with the wax dripping on the floor
Always with his back facing the door
“Papi, can you hear me?”

He puts the songs on repeat
as loud as it goes
and the walls of the house
shiver to the sultry “Ben”
which is about a rat
by the King of Pop Mr. Jackson
Imagine listening to that seven times in a row
So soulful
“Papi, can you hear me?”

When he’s quiet
and breathing softly
I crawl up to him
And he reaches out and pulls me into a hug
And he holds me so snug I feel like a teddy bear
And the candles flicker until all the wax is used up
all the wax is gone

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35 thoughts on “For all the child video game heroes who face unbeatable bosses

  1. It really is sad that some kids have to live a life like this.
    That is a great poem, and really cool that you wrote it for a friend, it is also cool that you are donating your money for every comment

    1. we have an overnight trip tomorrow with a middle school class, and I was just thinking that for some of them, it’s really an escape. We’ll have to make it crazy fun. Um…and I suppose educational.

  2. The donation is generous, and the poem is…tear-jerking, familiar, and excellent. I don’t want to hijack the attention away from the children, but I wanted to point out that it is also National Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. Although now that I think of it, that’s a stupid statement. As I should know if anyone, sexual abuse doesn’t only happen to adults. >;<

    For anyone is interested in helping raise awareness of -all- forms of abuse, even after April is over, I'm currently taking submissions (poetry, prose, photo…or what-have-you) for a free e-book called "Bones of Ash, Heart of Glass" that will feature all of my work so far on the subject, and quite a few other awesome pieces…but we need as much as we can find.

    All credit will of course go to the authors, but as the book will be free, I can't promise any monetary compensation…just the satisfaction of knowing you've helped someone out there see what's been hidden for so long, and helped give a voice to the hopeless, helpless ones.

    (My friend Aunt Nancy, if this is a bad place for this comment, feel free to take it down, and don't worry about working on my "prize piece", the children are -way- more important. 🙂 )

    KC & Co.

  3. Anansi,
    Real heroes are peeps like you, but who do it without bragging about it.
    Seriously, props to you, friend.
    Le Clown

  4. I’m torn. You know I love your poetry. But..BUUUUUUT….I do not like being weepy. So, I may just have to take a break from reading your work this week, just to preserve my manly dignity.

    I will, however, comment so that you have to give money to charity. I can’t tell if I’m being evil or kind, which is a bizarre feeling.

      1. awesome! hahah I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve! Please do tag the original post so I will get the notification! 😀

  5. Thank you SO MUCH for your committment to giving to help The New York Center for Children! Thank you for sharing this story, only too typical, of children living with quarreling parents. Very well done!

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