My Legs Had Nerves



My Legs Had Nerves 

It was the spot to sit
on top of our old red sofa,
and my thighs rubbing against
worn upholstery . . .
feet – kicking, raising dust.

My head leaning against
lead paint, fingers flicking
color and two Chinese statues
stared in my direction.

Barely missing the gold framed
mirror situated over my head,
my leg’s kept on moving . . .
A restless child.

It was near dinner time when
I heard my mother scream,
“Your father’s dead, he’s dead.”
I felt my heart inside and I
had no idea a heart raced.

My mother’s tears became
my own, and I began to cry.
Tears rolled onto our red
velvet couch, and mother still

My mother never covered my
thighs because I wore pretty
ironed dresses, ankle socks
and Buster Brown shoes. . .
I never told mother how cold
my legs were: I never cried
near the gold frame mirror
above the crush velvet couch.

My legs with ankle socks
began to kick and dust flew
and I began to sneeze, and still
tears fell.

It was the tube, our radio,
telling listeners about the
explosion at the plant.
The plant was the General Electric
Company. I heard people were dead.
Mother called out, “Lots of people
have died.”

Mother left in our old red Buick,
and Grandmother entered the living
room, knelt near the red couch. . .
I saw tears in her eyes too, but
when she was upset, she talked in
Italian; she cried in Italian too.

I believed Grandmother when she
assured me daddy was fine. . .
She placed her hands on my legs
to stop them from moving, and put
her finger to her lips.
Now I knew, she wanted to hear the

  1. Avatar of Joyce White
    Joyce White says

    Nancy, so thoughtful. I had two girls with restless legs that hurt all the time. Sorry for your dad if he died. I couldn’t quite tell. Today we all suffer from
    Fibromalgia. Our nerve endings drive us crazy. I couldn’t pull up your web or your twitter, or your facebook. I wanted to comment with you.

  2. Avatar of MistyAllen
    MistyAllen says

    This is very touching! Love it!!

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