Different Worlds

I look at my son playing in the quite Maine stillness

And think, I can barely believe this,

The contrast of my childhood and his,

While he sleds, squealing in happiness,

I recall the streets of my childhood, full of shit.

A shattered innocent mind was mine,

Ahead of its time,

All too aware of the poverty line

That my family lived uncomfortably under,

We and our neighborhood drawn asunder,

I watched violence unfold, in both fear and wonder,

Fingers wrapped around the metal of our chain linked fence,

Wondering how God could allow this mess,

Hoping the fence was enough to separate us from the rest,


But evil can always find a way in,

And one perfectly normal day, it did,

In the form of a dirty thief with a slick tongue, it is him

Who still haunts my memories and makes me suspicious

And for a long time, think all strangers were malicious,

I still wish to this day I had missed it,

Watching him turn from friend to foe,

Watching my mother get wrestled and thrown,

Down the ground, a permanent blow

To my innocent mind; I could only surrender,

While it ended and a neighbor ran after the offender,

I sat on the porch in disbelief, I clearly remember,

Wishing my dad would return from the LA riots,

Where he was a Guardsman trying to restore peace and quiet,

I tried to take the fear and just hide it.

I knew then the streets of poverty were cursed,

We just tried to keep our heads down so it wouldn’t get worse,

But thing play out like a show unrehearsed,

Because it’s a jungle out there, even for a white family,

Especially when there is no money hanging from our family tree,

I don’t think any of this was in my father’s dreams.


Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot that I miss,

Some breathtaking scenery that filled me with bliss,

Family trips to Pismo were as good as it gets,

Twinkling lights on palm trees in December,

More sunny days then I can remember,

And the feeling of pure surrender

To fate, when hugging the edge of the roads

Leading into the mountains, that was my home,

I felt I could stay there forever and roam,

Hearing the beautifully haunting coyote songs

As with my father, I happily tagged along,

When he drove up in the black of night where I felt I belonged,

He would go off the path to look hunt for snakes,

And I would just get lost, gazing up at the milky way,

I could die there, forever happy that way.

But eventually we had to come down from nature,

And I had to abandon my stargazing adventures,

Back to where I felt was the real danger

Not in the wilds of the foothill surrounding,

But back to, in the dead of night, strangers pounding

On our door, while they don’t know my father is rounding

The side of the porch, with his gun cocked,

While we hide inside, my mom checking all three door locks,

These are the things I wish I had forgot…

There were clothes on my back, yes, but always second hand,

I don’t think this was in my father’s plans,

Our fence being stalked by a crazy old man,

My fathers sadness when we coulnd’t help but see

An old family friend, homeless on the streets,

Never being able to afford even brand new sheets,

To fit a bed that us siblings would share,

Wondering if any on Earth actually cared,

Wondering if I would ever make it out of there…

But fast forward, and here I stand today

My feet planted roughly 3000 miles away

From the street on which I couldn’t play

Because it was too dangerous to go out alone,

And now I look-there is no fence around my home,

My son laughs with glee as he falls in the snow,

It will be different, so different, I know….

Comments 14 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Beautifully sad....what a contrast and what a magical life your son now has compared to yours...and you keep providing that magic for him, and his life is blessed....and it is all because of you and the lessons you learned long ago.

Great write; thank you for sharing the hard times with us.

bizarrett81 profile image

bizarrett81 3 years ago from Maine Author

Thanks Bill, for the kind words and for reading. I also had many good times in my life, more fun growing up with my family then I can ever forget. This is just a few chapters in my story = ) Glad you enjoyed it

snerfu profile image

snerfu 3 years ago from Madurai, India

"play out like a show unrehearsed" very well put. You are doing fantastic. Love the touch about the Dad and your son, of course the street you tread will be the ones in your dream. Good hub.

bizarrett81 profile image

bizarrett81 3 years ago from Maine Author

snerfu, Thank you so much for your reading and enjoying my hub. Those streets will always be in my dreams, and someday I would like to take my son there to show him how different it can be in another place, even in the same country. Thanks again!

wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Beautifully put. Its a comfort to my soul that we all got out.

bizarrett81 profile image

bizarrett81 3 years ago from Maine Author

Me too. I wish everyone I love could move to Maine though ; )

xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Quite a narrative. I lived in Santa Ana many years ago, before things got pretty bad in Calif. I suppose you were in LA area. Sounds like a scary way to grow up. Glad you got out.

bizarrett81 profile image

bizarrett81 3 years ago from Maine Author

I lived in Bakersfield. Nothing to do there so there's a lot of restless people I guess. Now I'm a world away in snow Maine. Thank you for reading!

DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 3 years ago

Your wonderful description of two worlds in one.You managed to survive the toughest of times and bring out the best of times.So vivid and clear I felt like I was there.Thanx for sharing.

bizarrett81 profile image

bizarrett81 3 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you Dream On, I'm glad you liked it.

Vincent Moore 3 years ago

I know what it's like to be a survivor, also the memories we all wished to forget, yet through it all, the bad and ugly, there was some good. I am happy that your mom and dad were there for you, stuck it out and fought to make it a loving home. Regardless of the turmoil many of us were put through, coming out at the other end alive, made it all worth it. I am closer to my sisters and brother than I've ever been. Peace and blessings I send to you dear Elizabeth.

bizarrett81 profile image

bizarrett81 3 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you so much Vincent. I am also thankful I had great parents who protected us and worked to get us out of there. It truly is a different world and life that my children are experiencing. And it's funny that you mentioned your siblings, because that is also true for me, I am closer today with my sisters then ever before. Thank you again!

Johny Dumbrocyo 2 years ago

You have a way with words Elizabeth.

bizarrett81 profile image

bizarrett81 2 years ago from Maine Author

Thank you Johny

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