The Slap


It was when I returned home

   from a date in Mullaly Park

I was seventeen

I don’t remember the boy

I don’t recall the heat of heavy necking

   or anything else about that evening

  except it was summer, and

Dad was in the park looking for me


I don’t remember if I saw him

But he certainly saw me

  lit by a full moon

I remember that full moon


When I got home

“I saw you spooning” he said

Then slapped me

I remember that burn on my cheek

I didn’t cry or say anything

  about the boy or the slap


The next day I met Dad downtown

   for lunch

We talked,

  not about the boy

  not about sex

  or limits


I understood his concern

I also understood I did nothing wrong



evelynbw.jpgEvelyn Berkal: After spending most of my adult working life in the world of commerce, I retired from my position in financial services. I then volunteered in a program to help seniors with their Medicare problems. I also handled the hotline at SHARE, a breast and ovarian cancer support organization.

It was in a college course in which we discussed, analyzed and wrote interpretations of poems that I was drawn into the magic of poetry.

Since then, I continued taking classes and going to readings. A highlight was going to a one-week workshop in San Miguel, Mexico where I met a variety of poetry teachers and students, mostly from the United States.

I’ve been writing with the Poets at Hamilton since 2011 and have become more engaged than ever, strongly influenced by my wonderful teacher, Michelle de Savigny. It is a pleasure to be part of this outstanding class.

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