Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Pre-Existing Condition

Ever since childhood
I have had a
Pre-existing condition

As an infant
(I was a change of life baby)
I had a pre-existing need
For parental love and affection
My father died when
I was ten months old
And my mother
Withdrew into her own world
Of self-pity and depression
It was said that
I was a willful
Baby who would
Bang his head against the wall
Until someone would pay attention
(For lack of attention
And nurturing
No doubt)

As a pre-adolescent
I had a pre-existing need
For a stable home
Medical care
(I suffered with asthma)
Dental care
(On a steady diet of
Candy and soda pop
My teeth were
All rotted out)
Nutritious meals
Adequate clothing
I was provided
With none of those things

My so-called family
Moved around
From pillar to post
Like a gypsy caravan
One step ahead of
The Sheriff
And all the Landlords
Who were always
Hot on our heels
Trying to collect
The last month’s rent
We always had to fear
The bill collector’s
Knock on the door
I went to seven
Different schools
Before reaching
The sixth grade

I have recently
My 65th birthday
(Who would have thunk it?)

(Not bad for a
Self made man with
Some very serious
Pre-existing conditions)

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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