brown wooden house surrounded by grass
Take Me, But Not All of Me
Byron Hoot
"I'd give a man anything
except my heart," she said
with a smile of bitterness
over a heart twice broken
she could not let heal.
When she was thirteen
her mother said, "You were
a mistake.  I gave into your 
father and let him on top
of me and stared at the ceiling
until he was done and you come from
that moment of weakness
and indifference."
After that she ran wild
and her father had to
leave his church.
The second time 
her heart shattered
was when her fiancé
broke her nose with a punch.
She never left home, became 
free and easy, ready for a good
reminding her mother who
she had created:  a woman who hated men,
except her father,
becoming a married man's mistress
and he tried to love her
finally disappearing after decades.
The daughter who couldn't love
turned to caring for the mother
who hadn’t wanted her
and they told the lies:
"Mary's a great girl!"
"Gram," no longer mother, "is
something for her age!"
Aunt Mary kept a loaded
six-shooter, .22 pistol by
her bed, "to shoot preachers 
who might knock on the door
in the night."
Died all alone
in a nursing home
and we who remained told one
another stories of how she
tried to break our hearts
with what she called love.