Table of Contents

Where We Grew Up: A Cyber Chapbook

Small Game Collector

Afraid of the Smudge

Where We Grew Up


Small Town Sex Education

August in Escalon


Something About the Author

Poetry Home Page

Quill email image

Where We Grew Up

The walls had hooks,
wire barbs reaching from the stucco
to rip a child's skin.
From time to time,
fireballs would spin
around the asphalt kitchen floor
and drain pipes gave off an odd glow
beneath the yellow tiled sink.

I remember the hot breath
of some invisible presence
standing between my sister and me
alone and afraid
in our maple twin beds.
Dad whimpered in his sleep;
mother turned and turned,
grinding her teeth in frustrated anger.

Sometimes on especially hot summer evenings
we could hear the distant cries
of injured late shift cannery workers
as they tried pulling their crushed limbs
from relentless moving cogs
or assembly line belts.
The rising delta wind brought
their moaning pleas into stifling rooms
where we wept our way through bad dreams,
windows open as wide as they would go.
Every sound carried.

c2002, Jennifer Lagier