Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Charlie Brice writes


I’d been sick for a year,
when they gave me a bone marrow test.
The doctor, oblivious to my five-year-old mind,
explained to my parents that the white cells
were eating the red cells.

My best friend’s sister, Sandy Risha,
died of leukemia that year,
the year of our Lord,
nineteen hundred and fifty-five.

I lived.

We got a dog, Lady K, a cocker spaniel
who was always sick.
One morning I woke up
and found Lady K dead in her box,
the same morning that my dad,
rumpled and red-eyed, arrived
home after a night of drinking and whoring.
He mocked my cries rather than face his embarrassment.

He made fun of my grief while my mother
railed at him for his drunken infidelity.

I knew then that,
in the family I called mine,
there was no place for me,
no place for me on this earth.
Final days: Victor Amato of the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tells the Asbury Park Press the dog died being loved

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