Friday, October 7, 2011

The White House

They were the Reagans
who live up the way
in the best house in those parts.
Their house smelled of milk
fresh laundry, and kids.

Mr. Reagan came home long
enough to make the Mrs. pregnant
again. She had twenty kids
for him and those kids would
do anything for her.

She was a sad woman, tiny,
frail. One child lay in a crib by
the stove. She was sixteen in diapers
and took the bottle. One boy was daft.
The rest of the kids worked the farm.

Mr. Reagan was
proud of what he did, how he
provided for his family. One day,
Rosalee,my friend, begged her mom
Don't let him in your bed again.  You have
too many babies, Mama, it's going
to kill you!

Mrs. wouldn’t look at her baby, Hope,
when she was born. Everything
went perfectly, Mr. Reagan
announced. The Mrs. died the next day.


Ann said...

So many sad forms of spouse abuse, Judy.

Old Ollie said...

sad and scary tale...

Peggy said...

Oh my Judy. What a sad story. I wonder if this is a true story.

Dave King said...

Yes, sad, but with the ring of truth, which is the possibility of truth. A really powerful response to the prompt that leaves just enough with the reader to contemplate.

gautami tripathy said...

This is indeed true is some parts of the world...


Mary said...

Chilling, Judy! It definitely has the ring of truth.

Lolamouse said...

Very chilling tale of male domination. So sad and even if fiction, it certainly could have happened.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, this is one powerful tale, and it rings so true for a certain time and place. Fantastic writing, Judy!!!!

Isabel Doyle said...

haunting - who needs ghosts?

Hazel said...

The sorrow in the story is already haunting (perhaps) even before the Mrs breathed her last :(.

Judy Roney said...

Thank you for your commments all. I appreciate this so much. Sadly, this is a true story about a family that lived near us in the mountains (near being relative). She died without ever holding, nursing, or looking at her last baby named Hope. I think it was her only way out.

Judy Roney said...

Oh, the photo is from Ella, of course. That part is not true. Their house was huge but falling apart one board at a time.

Lynne said...

Oh how terribly sad, Judy, and how I wish it were fiction. Poor Mrs. Reagan. I wonder how all those children got on in their lives.

Judy Roney said...

It seemed like the older ones didn't even know the younger ones. When they moved away it was for good. When I knew them, my friend was the oldest there at home. There were about 16 there and she never saw her older siblings. Also, the older children at home took care of the younger ones. It was a pretty organized place considering the incredible chaos. LOL I know that the one boy who was mentally challenged had two brothers that were responsible for him. They weren't allowed to go or do anything unless they had him. I don't know how they turned out but I have often wondered. I don't even know what happened after the baby was born. I'm sure they all raised her like they did each other.

Willow said...

Sad, tragic poem of a woman's hard life, and hard for her children too.

Ella said...

Oh, this is scary and sad! The truth is really haunting sometimes~
Well Done Judy!

Victoria said...

I'm so glad I am catching up with posts. This poem is a sad and terrible treasure, beautifully crafted, honest, and reflective of too many family's truths. You use truth and detail like the master of words and life stories you are.