They are scattered
Maybe all but gone now,
But I wish for a hint
In seeing them shine, then
A beautiful kind of embarrassment
for you, and for me.
That first day I was trembling hard
Away from mommy, the first time, pulled
From her smile and mommy’s tender-warm love
to the looming pale-green dome
of bus number 46 in ’76,
Toward the cold, stern and tired eyes of Mrs. Katsomethingorother.
I spell it wrong now, and would get Mr. Yuckystock’s paddle.
Him, too, I misspell, but I don’t misspell you, Renee.
But she put me with the tall and pretty blonde, more like a mantis than a unicorn,
but so pretty was she,
with long and lovely legs, for a child.
She knew I would not cry or tell,
So, she kicked me hard for my sins
I had yet to commit.
Black and blue shins
All up and all down.
Her eyes flashed with a hatred,
I know not why,
But I summed up the courage and stood up
No longer peeing in my pants
Too afraid to ask
I said, with big eyes and trembling voice,
“May I sit next to Renee?”
With long red hair and a timid, shy face,
Glaring down at her coloring book,
I and she seldom said a word
For 9 months
we sat together.
You were the first girl … I asked.
You, were beautiful Renee,
Kind and feminine and lived at the
End of a road
Whenever I see a little girl
With red hair and freckles,
I think of you.
She is iridescent, like you,
And, I, the hopeful child again,
Just wanting to have a true friend.
Just a moment,
a tiny part of my childhood back,
one lost through poverty and neglect
even if no bigger than a fading freckle of our childhood’s past.
Earl Yarington was a professor and social worker. He taught literature and writing for nearly 20 years. As a social worker, Earl focused on human sexuality and child sexual abuse prevention by working with and better understanding those at risk which included those with pedophilic disorder and other comorbid factors. Earl now writes literary fiction, poetry and non-fiction and often incorporates difficult and taboo subjects in his work related to sex and sexuality. His themes often involve representations of girlhood, the tension between child/adult, the difference between over-sexualizing and “de-sexualizing” girls and the societal tendency to attempt to liberate girls and women by further suppressing ownership of their bodies. These are tough questions he often asks of readers: Can girls be gorgeous without being over-sexualized or de-sexualized (taking any hint of being female or feminine away from them)? When does cute become sexy? Do we suddenly become appealing at 18?
He also writes through a male experience perspective to highlight the complexity, challenges, and difficulties men face in a visual world that often leaves men further isolated. Often, society’s concept of a sexual predator is little but a trope and does nothing to protect our children. Almost always, the people that hurt our kids are the ones we trust.
He drives buses for a living.