Friday, May 10, 2013

The Radio

The counselor says
that my attitude is the problem.
The way I see it,
the problem is the constant creeping
of my step-dad's fingers toward my twelve year old cooch.
But, you can't say things like that to a counselor.
So, I tell her about my radio.

It's big, and it's badass,
with dual speakers and bass boost.
Ever since I learned that DJs
(unlike God)
take requests,
I haven't turned the thing off.
Down low, it's the heartbeat
of my room womb.
Up loud, it's the beat
that boundaries me and mine.

Well, step-dad told me to turn it off.
I refused.
He told me to turn it off OR ELSE.
I turned it up louder and sang along.
He actually threw the breaker and cut off the power to my room,
and I . . . switched to batteries.
Whatever came next, that one moment was worth it all.

The counselor says
the problem is that I
want to be the boss,
to be in charge,
to have power.
The way I see it,
she doesn't know the half of it.

For Marian's radio prompt at Real Toads


hedgewitch said...

Harrowing--and too many counselors have no grounding in where power (or damage) comes from, in my experience--too many learned it all in a book and don't see any of the colors (like red and black) that are outside the lines. Hard to ignore them here, though, where the radio is the only thing free to blast the truth.

Marian said...

aaaahhhh it feels weird to say this but I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. i mean i love the directness and the power and the balls-out (ew, maybe that's the wrong amplifier here) fuck-offness of this piece. LOVE. LOVE. thank you!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Ever since I learned that DJs
(unlike God)
take requests,
I haven't turned the thing off.

Some how, here, the radio spoke when the girl could not. This is a harrowing anthem to the human spirit and the power of music.

Adura Ojo said...

So powerful! I love the metaphor of the radio for the Girl's voice. I hope you consider getting this poem published. It could speak to someone out there.

Susan said...

How did she know about the deafness of the counselors at that young age? Wonderful (awful) juxtaposition of the counselor's pronouncements and the father's actions. Glorious girl with Radio power - I want to avenge her.

Mary said...

Love the voice in this poem, MZ. This girl will grow up to be some strong woman!!

G-Man said...

This girl is headed toward a hardened cold life. She needs a machete'. My guess is that she'll get one. Fantastic writing MZ.
Have a Kick Ass Week-End....G

Sylvia K said...


Fireblossom said...

Her life was saved by rock n roll!

This is nothing but awesome poetic storytelling, MZ.

Brian Miller said...

no, the counselor doesnt...a little escape a little power for sure, but who worries about the motivation for that...instead of just making you compliant...well played mz

Kay L. Davies said...

Love this line: "Whatever came next, that one moment was worth it all."

Helen said...

The outrage in me comes bubbling to the surface whenever I read about abuse of any kind!

Switching to batteries (that feeling of power) definitely worth whatever came next ... I hope.

Sharp Little Pencil said...

I say this girl will be a survivor, because she's already rebelling. Too bad the counselor won't pick up on the signs and encourage the girl to say, "Why did you put in batteries after your stepdad cut the power?"

I was molested and turned off the world in depression. This one knows, will eventually tell, I think. GREAT write, Mama! Amy

henna ink said...

This makes me sick. It's brilliant.

Lorraine said...

Oh gosh I am so sorry, I'm in pain, I know it goes deep so play it out play it loud and next time, if ever there is such a moment again such a time you take that huge radio and hit him on the head!!!!
gosh i hate abusers, I cry and turn the radio out loud

ayala said...

No she doesn't and this is great!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

You gave her power when she could have sunk way down ! Grab that radio and run!

Grandmother said...

Her counselor says her attitude is the problem but it's her attitude that's saving her. What a great portrayal of a survivor. I' rooting for her!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Brilliant. That girl's strong spirit will make her a warrior woman one day. Fantastic write, MZ.

Hannah said...

So many levels of truth within this. Mama Zen, it's heartbreaking and empowering at once. You've written to the challenge in such a potent and profound way...saved her life indeed. Wow.

Manicddaily said...

WOnderful strong voice here, MZ. K.

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TALON said...

This resonates...and those four lines:

"Down low, it's the heartbeat
of my room womb.
Up loud, it's the beat
that boundaries me and mine." spoke volumes (no pun intended)

This was a sad read, but a brilliant one, Mama Zen.