Shirley Gale Posted December 10, 2015 Report Share Posted December 10, 2015 Caution: This contains strong language. What The Fuck Do You Want From Me? “Son,” she said, “got to do yo’ work.” I ain’t got to do nothin’ Yeah, I’m angry—so what? What the fuck do you want from me? So now it’s all my fault. She can’t read or write eitha. Don’t want me around. He can’t read or write eitha. Neva wanted me from the beginning. Naw, I can’t read and write and fuck math and science--can’t do that neitha. “Son,” she said, “keep your head up and listen.” “Fuck you, leave me alone. I don’t know this stuff—hardly seen any of it befo'. School ain’t my answa—no real support there. They say, too old, foundation crumbling--my existence cracked and weak. Fourth grade come and gone, test scores way low. Can’t recall or retrieve it, too late for me—brain cells said so. What the fuck do you want from me? “Son,” she said, “open your book and read along.” I can’t read this shit. Don’t you think I would if I could? I tried. You know I tried. She persists—always persisting, even encouraging. Better than the one who gave me life. Fake the shit, read somehow. Omit some words, stumble on more, makeup others--satisfy her, make her proud. They laugh at me exposing my weakness and shame. I silence them with my stare. I told you I can’t read this. Leave me alone—Bitch get away from me. Son,” she said, “you’ve got to do this.” Didn’t have no books—she didn’t buy any—no magical blue train engine with his friends, no thousand acre forest with a whimsical bear named Winnie the Pooh and his slow friend—the clever, gray ass— nothing like that in my formative years. “Son,” she said, “don’t you want to go to high school?” Stupid questions coming at me from everywhere—all the time—from all of them. I dream of high school—even college—want to find me a good job. I see myself standing in front of the class reading my report written last night, seeing her face delight in my scholar. But that’s not me—can’t be me. I can’t read so I can’t write. I can’t write so I can’t read. Why am I here? Vicious circles all around me—lying to me, always lying. What the fuck do you want from me? “Son,” she said, “you’ve got to try.” I’m here for you, right here, right now. I’m a big ass teen, big as any man; she said I’m on a third grade level. Don’t you think I know it? I know it all too well. Fuck you, fuck her, fuck him, and fuck all of this reading and writing. Papers with hurried marks ripped and tossed, my pencil splintered in yellow wooden pieces on the floor. What the fuck do you want from me? My aim was straight—my target in range. His image mirrored mine. The bullet hit him square in his back. Blood flowed like red and black ink onto the ground. He could read and write, “literate,” she said. They spun me around, punching and kicking—them at me, me at them. Metal bracelets clench my wrists. Oh fuck! I can’t read, I can’t write, I don’t exist. What the fuck did you expect from me? “Life!” he said. Life with no chance of patrol—I’m sixteen years old. What the fuck do you want from me? What the fuck did I expect from you? Shirley G. Perry-Church, 12-4-2015 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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