Alligators and Crocodiles


I am from colonial style homes,

From Sunday morning church and Bible study Wednesdays.

I am from the fall leaves on the driveway.

(Various oranges, glowing,

It tasted like apple spice pie.)

I am from the black cherry tree

The sand plum tree

Whose rosy sweet scent would

Linger for days.


I’m from banana nut bread and walking canes

            From Kay and Jeanie.

I’m from the family name

            And the I know your aunts,

From You’re the youngest! And I’m telling!

I’m from my full name being said

            With a green tree switch

            And the fear of my mother’s hand.

I’m from Raymond and Lynda’s Branch

Black coffee and homemade applesauce.

From the walk my grandfather lost

            To War World II,

the addiction that took my parents’ lives.

See ya later alligator,

See ya later alligator,

See ya later alligator, hello? 

Shake the negative and passive. 

Inside my parents’ house were the memories of yesterday

Echoing a better times day.

Inside my parents' house were the memories of yesterday

Clinging to me like static and pricking me like a thorn.

Sweet memories that are quickly fading

As the clock ticks time moves on.

I am from the past that doesn’t define me—

But will make me—

From the love of my mother and father.

Mother and father, "See ya later alligator!"

Never forget that last kiss you blew or the last wave,

Now's the time I'll say, "In awhile crocodiles!"


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