local_library My Only Story

by Camille Renshaw

Published in Issue No. 4 ~ July, 1996

Well, I was discovering the dreams of my youth,
Pruning segregated lines between God and truth.
I was made to be writing these lines,
But I always was the tormented kind.
Sometimes I feared my whitewashed, childhood sins,
And sometimes I resurrected my pen.
As a little girl in our musty basement
I hid from his brown belts and bad temperaments.
Adults always danced on my pubescent art
And then preyed on my belittled poet’s heart.

Well, my father and mother met too young,
Treating marriage like dinner on the run.
Now they are eating supper on distant porches-
That eliminates any truth from their divorce.
They battered around for a hazed decade or two
Until learning to love was only part of a feud.
Disgusted, Dad looked to the world of men,
While domestic Mom looked too much to him.
So when they fought their bedroom scenes
They beat us with rallies of screams.

Sometimes I feel very alone and wily,
Sometimes my heart runs wild like a crying child.
Sometimes I can’t recall my mother’s face,
Sometimes my dark thoughts ruse another place.
And sometimes I think I’ll not think clearly again
But then it’s only a blistering hate of him.
So dark red is the color of the year,
And black and blue stain the pit of my tears.
The same ole story is written with the bruised ink
By the little girl who changed as she learned to think.

Today their gold ring is on my shaking hand,
And I can’t believe this is a bridal band.
I am now halfway between misery and the sun –
I must relish being the melancholy one.
The lumination shows me all that was well by night,
And then the misery turns my bleak face to the light.
But then, I always saw, I always said,
I would not take someone like him to bed.
But now I know it is quite the reverse,
I’m with someone like her, and it’s much worse.

account_box More About

Camille Renshaw is from Nashville, TN, where she also completed her graduate work in English at Vanderbilt University. An avid hiker, she had just returned from hiking the Appalachian Trail when her first poems in Pif Magazine were published. Camille later became managing editor of Pif Magazine.