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The Crossover Wars

POETRY BOOK    Stories in the stream of life

My mother was a beautiful little girl given over to foster care at a very young age, during a time when beautiful children in foster care had little or none of of the legal protections that now exist. That life damaged her beyond anything I could understand. When she died, we'd been estranged for some time. I just wish it could have been different.



My mother was a storm 
Powerfully destructive, emotionally ripped and torn.
She began in a lonely infancy, unprotected from darkness and fears
And evil events simply saturated all her early days with unshed tears,
subjecting her to abuses that she could never tell

There were

Lies and unspeakable crimes committed against her
By faceless folks who claimed to love her 
and so, she learned to hate herself, 
to despise her love and everyone else’s.
She was very young when she married my father
Being not one day over just sixteen
having never had a chance to do anything
(at least nothing other than become a too young mother)
And so Pop and she learned to love and hate each other -

My mother was a storm,
often cold and mostly mean,
but sometimes, soft and warm
yet, always, a powerfully destructive thing. 
She was as a detrimental, devastating force 
In every life that she brought to birth on this earth

She never should have been anybody’s wife,
and being “mama“, I believe, wasn’t what she wanted out of life.
‘Cause mama was haunted by the hell
that made up all of her little girl world,
rent and splintered her childhood like a torn, ragged, wicked spell,
And finally
shaped of the clay that was her,
a lonely, little very beautiful woman 
with untrustworthy tears
a constant victim of all her yesteryears,
I don’t think she ever saw herself as anything else.

My mother was a storm
Destructive in her course, but sometimes sweet and forlorn
I’ll never understand how she could’ve done
so many of the wayward and wrong things that she did
Or what sort of reasoning rang inside the walls of her head.
Mamas teach boys how to be compassionate men
But I don’t think that was anything she could do back then.
She was holding me once when I was less than one
While a man who looked a lot like her
Showed her name tattooed on his forearm.
That’s how
I know now 
that she never felt finished 
with her own teenaged fun
So how could she possibly have helped to make men out of sons?

My mother was a storm
A hurricane child formed from reticent pain
Blowing, meandering
Roaring and staggering 
along the most self destructive paths anyone could travel on
Sometimes doing good, most times, doing harm
I don’t know that she was ever happy inside
and that was all too evident in the way she lived her life.
But every storm has to die down 
and every person has to lie down 
To go into the long goodbye 
and sleep throughout the long goodnight
As is currently the fate of all mankind
My mother’s storm is burning out now
And despite all the path of long destruction lurking in yesterday
All that I care to think about 
Is what I wish to say to her today

Mama, you were a storm
And there were days when you did a lot of harm
But I never forgot what you were like when you were soft and warm
And how when I was little, I loved to sit right under your arm.
You were so beautiful, and I was so proud of you
Of all the people in the world, you were the one I wanted to cling to
But, by the time I had become a grown - up man
You’d already torn down your house with your own two hands
And I know that you think that none of my thoughts of you were ever good
But the truth is - I always loved you, but I also understood 
that a storm can only be a storm, it's just the nature of the thing
Destruction can be The "all that it knows how to bring"
If you want to have any type of happy tomorrow,
Just stay out of its path and avoid all the sorrow 
Mamma, you were a storm
And you hurt me more than anyone

My mother, you were a storm - but always a fighter
And your life with your smile should have grown brighter
But wearing the weight of who you were made you worn
And maybe you couldn’t do it anymore.
Some people said you were a voodoo witch
Others just called you an evil bitch
But deep within the corners of my own heart
My mother always will have her own special part.
I never really looked at you askance
Cause to me, you were only a little girl 
Who never had a chance.
Mama, you were a storm
And I loved you more than anyone

Some who think they know me better than they really do 
May open their mouths to say I hated you 
That these words expressing my feelings are naught but fake
Yet please understand. And make no mistake
Yes, you were 
A storm 
A squall
A tempest 
and A tornado
All destructive and such
But, mamma, I have always loved you 
Very. Very, much

And I still don’t want to say “goodbye”

Stephen W. Winslow

Portrait of S. Warren Winslow
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