Let’s Work At It- Even When We’re Alone. #Poem

I love my country.
Sure, it needs some work.
Just like myself.
And just like every single person.
And even though my rough
spots still need to be smoothed out,
I still love myself.
I remember being surrounded
by men on a hot summer day
while urinating in a bathroom
in inner city Baltimore.
I was alone. I could feel one
man’s breath on my neck
while the others started laughing.
I walked out of that bathroom.
I find Baltimore to be a lucid
example of my love for America.
We all need a bit of work.
It’s OK to admit it.
But what I won’t do is hate it, or myself,
for not being perfect when all the while
I know perfect doesn’t exist.
Baltimore is a gorgeous city.
I can’t wait to go back.
In fact, I have, multiple times.

-M. Taggart

Happy Fourth of July!

Oh, it’s on!

I love Gavin. I’m blessed to be his father. I don’t understand how a parent could have the capacity to not love their child. And yet, so many don’t. And so many do. I’m in the ‘do’ category. I always knew I wanted to be a father. And bam! Here I am! And there he is. Looking rather serious and daring me to sink his battleship.

The doctor told my wife to call her when she starts to bleed. We had already lost one. I held on to Faith- Tell life it can’t. Gavin wasn’t supposed to be born. So we were told. Somehow Megan and I suffered a bit more though. Megan nearly died during an ectopic rupture when Gavin was nearly two years old.

Megan lived. Gavin lived. I’m trying my best to live.

Gavin won. In so many ways.

-Matt

Gavin is five. Not sure about his soul though.

Indent

And the levity of one example brought on the harm of another while watching stars, listening to ‘mind’, and fingers reading pages and pages and dusty pages turning to new pages smelling of ink while staring at a bar room wall with all sounds bouncing from ear to ear, some listening to this, some not, the bar pushes further, mouths drink and pages turn; lives of another might be yours someday, as she watches from the other side.

-M. Taggart

I Don’t need this secret.

I was sitting at the bar. Directly to my left was a door leading to the
deck. The wind was picking up. John was rambling on with a friend.
I saw the clouds and thought of my father. I walked outside and took
this photo. I liked the wind and the darkening clouds. These clouds
were exactly overhead. I wondered if there was a piece of my father
in them. His celebration of life is this coming Saturday.
I don’t want to go. I will go. But I don’t want to. I’m struggling with
the guilt of not wanting to go. Just like I’m struggling with the guilt
of telling my father he wasn’t there for me when I needed him most.
I guess that’s how it goes. And maybe that’s why I stood outside alone.
I wanted to show someone the photo of the clouds when I walked back in.
What’s the point though. The clouds meant more to me than them.
They always will.

-M. Taggart

photo taken 6/15/21 in Maine.

Factoids from a 5-year-old.

Yesterday I picked Gavin up from school and told him I was going to drive him to a surprise. Gavin loves surprises! I drove him to a toy store and told him I was going to buy him a toy for absolutely no reason other than that I loved him. I gave him a budget and in we went. He picked out Tyro, a blue and stretchy Dino figure.

Just as I was paying for his new toy he decided he had something to say to the friendly cashier.

“Excuse me. Do you see that human right there? That’s my Dad.”

Well, there we have it. My son acknowledged my existence as a human and also as his father. I can rest easy.

-Matt

P.S.,- As some of you know, I’m a very proud father and husband 🙂

Have a great day and buy someone a toy! lol they may just have something to say.

Academy of Trust

I noticed that my toothbrush wasn’t where I had left it.
In fact, for two days in a row, my toothbrush had been moved.
Then I realized that this has been happening for some time now.

I stopped scrubbing my teeth and looked in the mirror to acknowledge
my reality. My five year old son has been using my toothbrush.

Now- I love my son dearly, but I don’t want I to share a toothbrush.

I rinsed my mouth and put my toothbrush where Gavin had left it.
I slowly opened the drawer and spotted a brand new
Captain America toothbrush. Blue. His favorite color.

I’m not going to lecture Gavin. I’m going to roll with this.
Transition and compromise are two skills I’m continually learning.
It’s a little small, but that’s OK, I like Captain America.

-M. Taggart

poem / short story

My father passed on October 14, 2020.
I’ve put off writing. Something he himself
loved. My parents were divorced when I was two.
My earliest memories are not good.
I remember the phone call my brother and
I received, which stands as the pivotal
hardship to hamper my father’s talents to the
point of failure. Not that his creativity was a failure.
Rather that his determination to break through
dimmed. I may have been twelve, or so, years old.
My mother answered. She called for Chris and then
held the cordless phone toward us and said, “It’s for you.
It’s your Dad.” Chris looked at me and said, “Uncle Darrell
is dead.” Our uncle had lived with my father and his wife
for roughly 3-years. My father asked him to move out.
Lack of productivity concerning finding
a job and motivation to live well. My father gave his love,
and his home, to his brother long enough, he believed, and
it was time. A few months later Uncle Darrel hung himself
outside a three story building in position for morning traffic.
My father told us that he felt his brother’s soul go through him.
My father, very slowly, stopped trying. His talent landed him
on stage playing guitar with Aerosmith as a very young man.
It’s possible everything seemed so very easy to him with his gifts.
But it wasn’t easy. He had children. Hardship after hardship found
him and somehow I became published multiple times while my
father had not. Yet, he was the master story teller. I can’t tell
stories. I haven’t the ability. But when I sit to write it’s there.
I shut the writing off on purpose. To read is to think and to write
is to feel. Feeling is an easy thing. And while I don’t need permission
to live my life, I feel too much lately to write. Anyway, that’s what I
tell myself as I drink too much and step forward every day toward
a success I never saw coming as I call upon my father more now
than ever.

-M. Taggart

Love you, Dad.

Poem – painful goodbye

She cried at work

her makeup ran down her forty-something
year-old-face

she looked a bit bad

he didn’t want her anymore
The lawn guy with his own
business

Mr. Z

He came in sometimes
i guess he was done
doing that

She cried with her dress on
We worked in a store selling
silver and she was the manager

I looked at her crying

I told her,
look in the mirror
and tell yourself
you’re beautiful

she cried harder

I don’t work there
anymore

-M. Taggart

 

A Short Story

A Short Story
Written by
-M. Taggart
Non Fiction

A Short Story

 

It was her birthday. She wanted to talk. A lot. I like to listen, but had planned on reading a book. I ordered a Guinness.

She told me she was lucky to make it. She was now 60. She didn’t say the number out-loud, instead she faced me and asked me to count her fingers.

For the next half hour I listened to her story. She had lived in foster care, had been abused, physically and mentally, found herself at 18 with a vicious tongue and lost herself completely in her twenties.

She had attempting suicide multiple times. The last attempt landed her in a coma and in the hospital. During the explanation of her life she bounced from age-to-age and from addiction to health. By her mid-thirties she had once again found herself and had stopped drinking. She also stopped using drugs.

She found both again and lived another round of almost not living. She was homeless for a time. She vomited feces while she was dying. She woke up on a Monday, put her make-up on, and lived.

I didn’t bother trying to read my book. I wanted her to finish her story. This happens to me often when I sit at the bar. I don’t mind. When I don’t want to talk, I stand in the corner, alone, with a book and a beer.

She is very kind. Full of love for life and happy to have not died during her attempts to end hers. She told me this while pouring her new beer into an empty pint glass. Her eyes widened as she started a new chapter of her story.

Slowly, I entered small facts about myself into the conversation. “You lived in Turners Falls, MA?!” she replied? “No, I went to High School in that town. And Turners was a border town to my home town.” “No wonder you had anger! There’s nothing there!”

That wasn’t the reason I had anger. I love that town.

She knew the drug houses, the homeless issue, the violence, the left over edge one has after spending any length of time in that region. And here we sat, in a pub located in Maine.

She asked if I was familiar with Greenfield. “Yes. Greenfield is where I was in one-too-many fights and also where I spent time in jail.”

She told me she lived in the woman’s home in Greenfield and that’s where she got clean. It took over a year, but they were amazing to her and saved her life.

I told her I wrote a short story that had much to do with the small town mindset of that area. And there we sat, enjoying our lives in the now, talking about the past. About the very town where I’ve lost friends due to addiction and violence. The very town where I found love for the first time and where I learned driving alone late at night, with the windows down and radio off, was a form of freedom that I was only just beginning to understand.

 

-M. Taggart