Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, April 16, 2018

"N" is for 'Nearly Normal'

I hit puberty in the mid-1950s,
taller and skinnier than most boys, wearing glasses,
and shy from switching schools so often
I lost count.
I pushed up sweater sleeves to hide the holes
and wore hand-me-downs, trading with my sister
who trailed a year behind me.
I never talked about home.
My mother was not a housewife
in that era of Ozzie and Harriet.
I walked to school past a row of bungalows
with, yes, picket white fences, dreaming about
a husband someday, maybe one
of those cute aprons to go with 2.5 children.
Never happened.
My high school counselor opened our session
by asking, "When are you getting married?"
By the time I graduated, Vietnam was on the horizon.
Army officers recruited at our school, my sister
got pregnant, and I moved out,
ever grateful my aunt took me away. 
The next decade passed in a blur,
as I worked my way through college,
nearly normal.
And, yes, my dear husband came along
when I was 30, a Vietnam vet with his own baggage,
but we persevered, proud parents of the next generation
who would go on to make music of her own.

Cathy and me, 1961
Today's poem for April's A-Z Blogging Challenge came from playing around with words that begin with "N". I really wanted to riff on Edgar Allen Poe's poem, "The Raven" for 'nevermore.' Instead, nearly normal popped into my mind for a memoir-type poem. But the week's goals push me forward on my writing project. So have a lovely day, believe in today and tomorrow, and check out what others have written!