Tell Them (in the starlight)

walking in moonlight

Tell Them (in the starlight)

Tell them that my first year conscious, really at three
I had my fingers on the ebony and ivory keys
that by four they bought me an electric organ
Then parents divorced – end of my piano lessons.

Tell them that only after three years conscious, so seven
I was looking in the adverts in the Ottawa Citizen
for pianos, I recall $700 back then
I wanted so much to learn how to play piano, they didn’t listen.

Tell them that my mom said I’d give in too fast
but it’s not like she had any hobbies or passions
and aren’t parents supposed to instill discipline?
You’re not so sure of that with single parents.

Tell them that I paid for my own violin lessons
Whilst paying my university and working at JACOB
that my mom drove me out once or twice to Richmond
but dropped the ball, too far to go, and cancelled.

Tell them she loved me one day, but was mad the next
that she didn’t care to turn off the TV and visit
that anytime I wanted to share, she’d gossip
and that instead of a BBQ’ed salmon I wanted to make us, she went for Chinese, #7.

Tell them I always thought he was a brilliant dad
Called us EVERY Sunday, never forgot gifts and that
but every time we said he was a great man
mom shat all over him and shat and shat and shat.

Tell them I can remember the many times I needed love
all the times I was sick and just needed a cuddle or a hug
left in a room at the babysitters, with no food and sore stomach
headaches and headaches from being so nervous.

Tell them at 20, I took the summer student job at the place
that I hated so much wanted to be outside instead
And that at 35 when I was approved for a mortgage
I told my mom I didn’t want to move out of Centretown village.

Tell them I was pushed in this and that direction
And that it was natural for a kid to listen
But at 41, with my Dad gone and from Mom – no response
Here I am with the life they saw: and absolutely fucked.

Tell them the things that nourish my soul are all me
that not my father nor my mother supported my poetry
and my teaching intimidates my mother, my sister insulting
and my mom bailed on year on a drive to my Westfest lit thing.

Tell them she wanted to get her haircut that morning
so called to say “yeah, can’t drive you, I’m sorry”
and I felt like a loser, so full of sorry and crying
but I bussed myself there in time and did my spoken-word poetry.

Tell them I’m single because I couldn’t care less anymore
to be hurt by a man who isn’t sure of himself or his future
that I’ve done so well already on my own
that parents dropped the ball at 18 and 34, would I want more?

Tell them walking over Vanier Bridge, I didn’t get killed
That Pye was with me on text as I walked through Sandy Hill
and after my meditation class I walked home, it was still
such FULL trees, heritage architecture and river, until ….

… the shimmer of the moonlight upon the water I watched
… and the lights from apartments and the castle homes lit up
… thinking that my parents truly don’t give a fuck

if I got jacked in Vanier, robbed or beat up.

But I was not sad, for once.
Tell them that after I got back from London
my story was ended, and so should my life — be done
really there was nothing for me but paying bills and stuff
I was done. I was done. I was robbed. I was not in love.

But enough is enough, and tonight in the starlight
my beauty was natural to me — I felt bright!

Typically I carry with me a whole lot of dark insight
but the depth inside has given me sight.

Tell them I know my Muse doesn’t stand a chance in my league!
That while I think he’s wild, he’s been a drinker and a druggie!
That he’s not a loyal guy, fucks around and acts like a dink!
That he’s just as lonely as I was, insecure and needy.

Tell them that he’s still the only one who’s opinion I crave
about all the shit I go through day after day
I self-talk “get a grip” and “you’re doing my head in”
and remember he said/she said I have absolutely no problems.

Tell them I’m dying
But I’m dreaming
Tell them I’m trying
And I’m scheming
Tell them I’m patient
But I’m worried
that I’ll be a patient
sick, dead, dying…
…before I have time to start living.

But enough is enough, and tonight in the starlight
my beauty was natural to me — I felt bright!
Typically I carry with me a whole lot of dark insight
but the depth inside, tonight, has given me sight.

SH 2015