White Picket Fence

Material possessions are worth nothing.
It is love and family that counts for everything.

Before the after, I tried to have it all.
Long days added up to years of lonely rambling,
came to a stop when I found my first true love.

He was it.
He was special.
He was my life.

I gave up on international adventures,
I gave up contracts,
I gave up on being alone.

We were a family.
He and I,
my son,
a labrador puppy,
convertible Cadillac,
VIP pass to the stars.

What I thought was the beginning of life ever after,
never took off.
That kind of life was not meant for him; Peter Pan is forever young.
I was a wild card.
Gamblers, the best ones, don’t bet on the likes of me.

I packed,
moved my son,
left everything behind.
The next day.

The house was white.
It sat back from traffic,
elevated just enough,
so that I could pretend that it was a fortress on the hill.
It was a beauty in the old victorian section of my hometown.

Oak trees swayed, Spanish moss dangled.
Azaleas bloomed, leaves fell, the dogs barked.
Large enough for all,
it remained cavernous,
echoes of two.

Then there was the boyfriend from Prague; he left patience.
Then there was the boyfriend from Pennsylvania; he left passion and an unborn child.
Then there was the boyfriend from Texas; he left diamonds, paranoia, and a tax audit.

Christmas came,
the ex-husband stayed over.
He watched his son,
pathetic fake fatherly pride.
The wolf ate the ham,
Gifts ripped apart.

Always alone,
I stuffed the atmosphere with
animals,
toys,
furniture,
books,
chaos, and adventure.
Always empty,
even though I dreamed,
wished,
prayed for  a home,
stability and safety would be the delicious side effects.

We married in the backyard.
Roses red,
filled vases that were lit by a thousand candles.
The uncles were drunk.
Cigars smoked.

The house caught on fire.
The best wedding ever.
The only wedding I know of that never had a honeymoon.

A daughter was born,
greeted by my grandmother,
adored by my mom,
celebrated by all.

She was ferried out of the hospital as if she would break.

The most fragile of miracles.
That was when eyes and mouths planned,
schemed,
organized a proper nanny.
The verdict always delivered with a knife, right in my back.

We left the house perched on the hill,
that slept under the oaks,
decorated with azaleas,
gardenias and hibiscus,
one week later.

I was told,
the sheets were not good enough.
Bought at Target,
the thread count was shit,
not even made from cotton.
I was told,
my other child was spoiled,
that I was not a proper parent,
my house needed order.
I was told,
that we could not stay,
we had to move to chase the dollar.

The house had a white picket fence.
That fence evoked sarcastic laughter,
a period at the end of the
“she is out of her mind” declaration.
The house sat empty for a year.
It’s windows dark, the sparkle of life gone; it was alone.

Alone. Under the trees. Sparkling pool, sun shining. Alone.

I tried to go home. I tried to make a home. I tried.

It was not good enough.

Years later,
memories still turned over and examined.
Laughter, then heartbreak.
That was the middle time.

The white picket fence was torn down by the new owners.
The French doors ripped off and thrown to the curb.
The trees still stand,
so does the house.

I can’t and won’t drive by.
It hurts,
to see.
It hurts to remember.
For me, the house represents what could have been.

I am told to let the past go.
I find that I can’t forget heartbreak.

Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson is the Creator and Publisher of Feminine Collective. Julie was inspired to create this safe place for women to share their secrets, desires, triumphs and pain as the antithesis of what mainstream media offers women today. In her column Pursuit of Perfection, she explores the importance of rectifying the balance of inner and outer beauty through essays, poems and articles on self-esteem, shame, family, and self- acceptance.

6 thoughts on “White Picket Fence

  1. Paul Empson Reply

    Ouch ! Loved that house . Loved that wedding and confess that the person who ruined it all is me and allowing my meddling and righteous mother invade our family . Shoulda , woulda , coulda …..

    I think sometimes we can read and go ” shit thank god no names were mentioned as that sounds horrible”

    Another masterpiece Julie !!

    It’s true , all of it .

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