on cursing

which for me started at summer camp,

first summer in Miami, USA,

at the start of exile, painfully terrified,

what with my thighs and painful

Cuban accent and the assurance

that they were not amused

nor I

and curses in the languages I spoke

and barely spoke

came rapidly from boys, so many boys,

the early boisterous bullying

of boys will be boys

and thus it was that after a particular

not so nice speech from one of these

male planet persons who inhabited

this self-same summer camp

I essayed a riposte, my first curse word,

alas! and no, I don’t remember what it was…

it’s shrouded in the mist of early blushes

and the sadness of so much time lost

in weighing, counting, feeling as though my nose

was surely crooked…

that summer I was actually proposed to,

to my utter ‘mazement, by not one

but three such boys!  including that first mocking

cursing son of a mother much like mine…

with one of them agreed soon to elope…

we would both wait ’till 12,

till we were older and more seated

in our ‘adult wisdom’

and then we would fly much like

romeo and juliet, minus

the chaperone…

how chaste we were, how


how lovely now does that first curse

seem to my jaded eyes,

having now met and lost

my romeo at last…

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