Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Regarding Kay

by Robert Vaughan
She sits there just
waiting just sitting
and waiting...

She talked two lifetimes
worth in fifty years
despite his insults:
blabberpuss, motormouth,
and so on
and so on

In one ear and
out the other

she followed siren
screaming fire trucks
to their destinations
she had a drive
about being perfect
and two critical eyes:

you're not wearing that,
do you have to be such a slob?

A gifted pianist
she would yell corrections
A sharp! Or E Flat!
preparing dinner as
I practiced daily lessons

She couldn't live 
with him
but she did
just as she had
with her abusive father

she couldn't live
without him
but she did
she disappeared daily
more and more in 
his house long before
the home at St. John's

she held grudges
she could be kinder
to strangers than 
loved ones
her letters needed
deciphering with a
fine tooth comb
to discover any warmth
more like tombs
her words
in preparation of a

vacuum into which 
her life fell

she loved Frosted Flakes
quiet family walks
on Sunday afternoons
into Park Lane fields
later developed
raspberry picking for
her notorious berry pies
Swimming and
skiing keeping
her shapely and fit

her breasts shriveled under
husband's insults

Laundry, vacuuming,
cleaning was laborious
and we heard the
laments: the victim,
the oppressed, the
creative juices eeked 
out of her mundane
existence, reduced to
conversations with Rose,
coffee with Shirley,
or Sally

not the life she envisioned
as a promising young 
musician meeting a
divorced dapper doctor
at the ripe age of 21

She fought the move to
the farm in Macedon
much like she fought
the alcoholic husband or
the disappointment of
her children, or the
onslaught of a disease
with a german name
which would rob her
of her august years

not even able to protest
she slipped beneath
the surface of ice
into an abyss
I cannot comprehend
I did not know her
I never really knew her

I never knew her
although I am her
we are all her
in life, and in death 


  1. Wonderful stuff, Robert and congrats on being the 100th publication here. Nice to be reading you here and other sites.

  2. Yes. Your words are like flashcards waved before my face, forcing me to confront memories I've tried to forget. But here they are in black and yellow, forever preserved for all to read and judge. Families and marriages are never perfect. Sadly, our mother chose to lose her voice long before her illness robbed her of it. I like to pretend that if events had been different, she might have changed that and enjoyed her "August years." Alas, it was not so. Your words capture her essence with such poignancy that I could almost swear I wrote them myself. Good job, brother, for I know and share the cost. I love you.

  3. As I knew her and know her. I know her in my own mother I am uplifted but so sad. I know the can't live with, can't live fucked up. You are strong and brave and I love this piece maybe more than any other to date.