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Barbara Eknoian


Mom folds the wash, listens
and takes my brother’s side
of the argument.
I feel they’re ganging
up on me.
As I walk away,
they both laugh.
I’m convinced God
must have given me
to the wrong family.
I gather some clothes
and stuff them into my red,
white, and blue skating case,
take a few dollars
from my secret stash
under my bunk bed,
stomp down the stairs,
and slam the door behind me.
They’re not going to have me
to pick on anymore.
I cross Hudson Boulevard
and sit at Jesse’s sandwich shop,
just a narrow store with a counter,
stools, and a pie display case.
I choose pumpkin pie
since it tastes like Grandma’s.
With each bite, I wonder where
I should go next.
It’s closing time, almost 9 p.m.
Then I realize it’s Monday night,
so I head for home
because I can’t miss
“I Love Lucy.”
From Why I Miss New Jersey (Everhart Press, 2013).
Used here with the author’s permission.


Barbara Eknoian lives in La Mirada, California. From her store of vivid memories, she writes a lot about her growing-up years. Originally from New Jersey, she was forever homesick until she joined Donna Hilbert's poetry workshop in Long Beach. Barbara was the first recipient of the Jane Buel Bradley Chapbook Award for her collection, Jerkumstances (Pearl Editions).


Post New Comment:
All these memories coming back! If poetry does nothing else in life - it brings back so many acts and thoughts. I didn't get any pie either!
Posted 06/25/2015 01:51 AM
Miss' Lucy' Nd the 50's, so much easier then. Loved the poem ~
Posted 06/24/2015 11:23 AM
Sharon Urdahl:
Delightful! Your imaging was right on, thank you.
Posted 06/24/2015 10:18 AM
I ran away many times as a girl. Unfortunately, no pie involved in my adventures.
Posted 06/24/2015 09:49 AM
I love it!
Posted 06/24/2015 09:37 AM
Everyone remembers that feeling! Nice job.
Posted 06/24/2015 08:30 AM
Having been the family scapegoat in a screwed-up family, I relate to this poem! Thank you.
Posted 06/24/2015 07:52 AM
Love it. I raised two girls and have four granddaughters. It's beautifully written. Barbara Eknoian, I would love to meet you.
Posted 06/24/2015 06:01 AM
Alarie Tennille:
Thanks for the trip back to childhood. I, too, packed a case, only I wasn't allowed to cross the street alone, so ate a sandwich sitting on the curb at the end of my block.
Posted 06/24/2015 02:54 AM

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