Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Re-Awakening

by Marjorie Brody

The New Year arrived for me in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. A live band, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries accompanied a balloon drop at midnight. The cruise allowed me to escape telephone calls and the demands of emails, meetings, and deadlines. I took a speed boat ride

through the rain forest, climbed Mayan ruins, and swam in gorgeous blue, calm water. I relaxed and gained a fresh perspective on my goals for the coming year. As a guest on a cruise ship, I was treated like royalty.

The vacation reminded me of how fortunate I am—purely by accident of my birth—to belong to the privileged of this world. Even though I have at times experienced religious prejudice, my life is blessed. I live in a country where, even as a female, I can receive an education, earn a living, marry the person of my choice, and raise the number of children I choose. My cruise experience, and the countries I visited, reinforced my awareness of the difference between the haves and the have nots. Years ago I wrote a poem about the divide between the privileged and underprivileged classes in our country. I pulled it out to reread and I'm sharing it with you below.

The New Year and its tradition of making resolutions coincided for me on this cruise and I decided that this year, my commitment wouldn't be to write more regularly or submit more often. My resolution wouldn’t be to lose weight or exercise three times a week. My resolution would push me to think outside of my own little world and do something to make the world a better place for those less fortunate than I.

May the New Year be good to you.


SIDE-BY-SIDE IN AMERICA: THE PLAYGROUND


Twisted gray weeds wrap around
rusted spikes
                                                      Manicured grass, plush, green
                                                      and well styled
where once the swings stood
                                                       under brilliant colored poles
Rats and roaches scuffle
among bottles, cans, and paper
finding their way to
                                                      Children laughing,
                                                      singing rhymes and shouting,
                                                      playing tag and statues
Termites on an endless feast
gorging themselves on
                                                      “See-saw Margery Daw”
Mosquitoes and flies hovering
around excrement and vomit
                                                      Uniformed nannies strolling flowered paths
                                                      pushing their carriages,
                                                      and gossiping sweetly
                                                      And the friendly policeman
                                                      tips his cap as they pass
a drunk beaten and robbed
lying under the bushes
blood inching down his mouth
and ear—his temple pulsing
                                                       the heavy thunder of roller skates
                                                       on cement
its redness turned brown by
an equal part dirt
                                                       “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
                                                       Humpty Dumpty had a great . . .”
“Help me,” faintly come
                                                        babies cooing as they have their
                                                        tummies satisfied with
                                                        bottles full of warm white
clouds turning black
as the chill of night sets in
                                                        And as the sun seeks the horizon
                                                        the nannies call the children
                                                        home
                                                        to an unappreciated dinner
                                                        and lush, warm beds
                                                        And the children laugh, and
                                                        run
                                                        “ . . . all the way, all the way home”
with the faint voice calling
                                                        “three, six, nine, I resign.”


Marjorie Brody is an award-winning author and Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her short stories appear in literary magazines and the Short Stories by Texas Authors Anthology and four volumes of the Short Story America Anthology. Her debut psychological suspense novel, TWISTED, was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Great Midwest Book Festival and won the Texas Association of Authors Best Young Adult Fiction Book Award. TWISTED is available in digital and print at http://tinyurl.com/cv15why or http://tinyurl.com/bqcgywl. Marjorie invites you to visit her at www.marjoriespages.com. 


4 comments:

  1. Love your posting today.☺

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are absolutely right, Marjorie. We were born lucky and had nothing to do with it. It is good to stay humble not prideful and to be mindful of other people's needs. Your post and your wonderful poem do that. Brava! May 2016 be good to you and yours.,

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, Kay. May 2016 be surprising good to you and yours, too.

    ReplyDelete