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by Fyn
Rated: ASR · Poetry · Biographical · #2248641
One of those moments ... 4-18-2021
Know-it-all Grows Up.


Early twenties
when I thought I knew it all--
I'd graduated college
with a 4.0, started my own company,
sold it for more than I've ever seen
since, traveled the world on my own,
joined the military because it was something
I hadn't done.

Not my dad's Navy,
but the Army. Couldn't get
the job I wanted: would have had to wait
too long. Wanted to go
immediately
before anyone (my dad, perhaps?)
could talk me out of it.
The army found me a slot first.

Oh, I knew it all.
Shortly after boot camp
(honor recruit) was promoted,
graduated second in my class at A.I.T.
Met a guy. mid-A.I.T. Knowing
everything, being so smart and all,
we eloped. Told Mom and Dad
after the fact. Broke their hearts.
Brought new hubby home
before he shipped out; went
so well. Not five minutes in,
he insulted them to the quick.
Marriage went downhill from there.
He'd left for overseas before I figured out
we were pregnant.

Finally sent to his duty station
(at six months pregnant)
he walked
right by me in the airport.
Six months fighting to get
where he was. Six days
and I was wishing
I was anywhere but there.
Couldn't tell the folks.
Nothing they could do
and I simply couldn't admit
what a fool I'd been.

Good at making sure
the bruises wouldn't hurt
the baby.
Good at making sure
the bruises wouldn't show.
Good at making sure
I was worthless;
how dare I do better than he,
how dare I outrank him.
Divorce would be final
some days after
the baby's due date.

7/11/77.
Lucky day!
Big, old-fashioned rockers
in new mom rooms.
I remember rocking,
singing her to sleep
with a song called,
'Turn Around.'
One of the last lines ...
'turn around
and she's a young wife
with babes of her own.'

I sat there
and rocked and thought.
Somewhere between birth
and endless rocking,
I realized
that my parents had morphed.
They had changed.
Suddenly they were so smart.
They knew all this new baby,
she's so tiny, how do I do all this,
be a parent stuff
I thought and rocked long after
she was back in the nursery.
I sat there
rocking until the wee hours
of my morning met my folks
early afternoon.

Called and told them
they were grandparents.
Details, happy tears, questions.
Finally admitted about the divorce
and what a fool I'd been.
Then, I told my parents
how brilliant they were
and how much I appreciated them.
My dad said, after a bit,
that they hadn't changed at all.
I insisted they had.

I'll never forget his next words.
"No, honey. You did.
You grew up. You still don't
know it all, but you're a lot closer
than you were."



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