Mocking Song

The first time I heard the tune
was in the eighth grade
Report card slipped through my hands
To the clutch of my mother’s fingers
Disappointment creased her brow
Her nostrils did their dance
Lyrics of shame tightened the strings
Playing the chords of my future nothingness
I overheard the song on Christmas Eve
All in common time
Don’t worry Gail.
She never will
Be more than the
Little housewife

A song of lament as years went by
Played to the beat of my doubts and fears
The canon weeping to my regrets
My husband’s words, a resounding crescendo
A fortissimo crashing into my longing heart
He cursed the day he married me
The sinner God made the barren wife
I never met his expectations of perfection
His reprise I heard within my dreams.
All in common time
You are stupid
You are ugly
You are so fat
You. Are. Worthless.

I heard the calling of the timbrel to dance
The staccato beat of joy
I married another and had his children
A harmonic progression of rapture
But a cacophony of voices emerged
Drowning out the ballads I loved
I yelled back in my defense
You cannot bully me.
My drive to be heard sung appassionato
All in common time
I have degrees.
I am stronger.
I have beauty
I am worthy.

Kathy Buckert holds an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Goddard College’s low-residency program in Plainfield, Vermont. Her work has appeared in The Linnet’s Wings, Cheap Pop, Gravel: A Literary Journal, Muddy River Review, The Effects of Grace Anthology and other publications. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. She is currently working on her memoir Reckless Grace. You can find her website at  http://www.kathybuckert.com/


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