by Larry Brody
NOTE FROM LB:
Today is my birthday. No, I won’t tell you what one, but if you follow me on Facebook my birthdate is right there. In honor of reaching this particular advanced state, I’ve chosen what probably is the most revealing thing I’ve ever written because, well, isn’t revelation one of the main things poetry is all about?
The Witch With The Green Face
When my daughter was six,
The Wizard Of Oz made a comeback,
The latest in a long string.
Wanting her to have everything I never did—
So that I could have it now instead—I bought her
The Marx Brothers playset. It was the
Emerald City itself, complete with Yellow
Brick Road, and they even threw in an
I got all the other figures as well,
And gave them to her,
And heard her cry out, saw the tears well up
In her eyes. My daughter’s body shook, and I
Realized she was staring at the Witch
With The Green Face. The only way I
Could get my daughter to calm down was to
Throw the Witch in the garbage outside.
She even had to go with me to see that such a
Scary being was in fact gone.
That night, when my daughter slept, I recovered
the Witch, and brought it to my office.
Everyone I worked with was impressed.
Eighteen years later, I wrote something real,
Filled with the rawness of the life I had led,
And the rage and the frustration
And the helpless feeling that life always
Seems to provide.
I blamed no one but myself, and showed no
Mercy, and asked no mercy in return.
I took no prisoners, and refused to give up.
“Death before dishonor,” say the boys in uniform, but
“Death by dishonor” was the rule of the piece.
I gave it to some friends to read, and heard them cry out.
Saw the tears well up in their eyes.
Their bodies shook, and I realized they were
All staring at the Witch With The Green Face.
The only way my friends could calm down
Was to get that manuscript back to me as soon
As they could. They even had to shove it in my
Mailbox to see that such a scary being was
Eighteen years ago, I betrayed my six year old
Daughter by taking the Witch from the Trash.
Eighteen years later I refused to betray
Myself and created my own Witch instead.
I cannot feel guilty,
But I cannot feel proud,
Because, in eighteen years,
This was the first time I had ever been
Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.