Troubled Beauty

Born in a storm in early spring
a troubled sign
for the trouble life would bring
mother and father too young to understand
life there
and beyond
their native heartland
but it would reach them
teach them
with lessons far spreading
soon shedding the ties
and tearing their lives
in half

one to the corps to build bridges and roads
one, with two girls, to the far western coast.
mind troubled
before long, problems doubled
and life on the streets was soon home
a mom and two girls
all alone
while families turned their steely eyes
on this sad little trio
struggling to survive.

scenes etched in a young mind forever
and who could really blame her.

too much time had passed
a year in an orphanage was next
then her father’s family finally came
to take the girls back home again
leaving their mom to fend for herself
all taken
to stumble alone
ever shaken.

as each day passed her beauty grew
though young and naive
this she knew
and would brandish it
like a weapon
even when it turned on her
stirring nasty men with their nasty intentions.

her beauty without
would inspire within
a will to escape the land of her kin
so she left.
at sixteen years she packed a bag
boarded a train
refashioned her name
and set sights on the Windy City
where she could pretend to be someone else
where the pain and the who of the young girl’s past
might get lost in the crowds of the city.
little did she know
it would haunt her to and fro
for the scars were deep and gritty.

yet she molded herself
into someone else
and driven.
her beauty soon led to some success
with misgivings deliberately hidden
behind high fashion clothes
fancy new cars
and a smile that was ever beguiling
while the child within
fists always clenched
was always

ever frightened to lose all she gained
for loss and fear were well ingrained
she never felt true satisfaction.
yet her beauty grew more mesmerizing
and her heart was ever trying
and her mind was ever reeling
ever learning
ever seeing
the world in such a special way
making people love her
though she kept them distant
day after day
after day
after day.

in a life that was filled with choices
there were so many dark, disturbed voices
which often spoke louder than others.
trust was a stranger
she questioned all angles
and often found solace in shallow rewards
in monied, depthless people
whom she deemed her equals
but those people were simply cowards
hiding in their golden towers
holding their lives above all
eager to see others fall
and she fell.

fell for a dreamer.
fell for a schemer.
fell for the trappings –
broken promises in shiny wrappings.
for a man she could never truly trust.
for a man who put her love below lust.
and the more that was taken
the stronger her obsession
with things that looked good on the surface
but offered no healing
no purpose.

five children she saw as her greatest success
she preened them and nurtured
the way she thought best
but the nest was so fragile
built of gossamer twigs
perched on flimsy branches
rocked by changing winds.
protecting illusions with stubborn pretention
and guarding the nest with utter resentment
she hid behind conceit
doing what she deemed was right
high walls built on fiction
with ever-present friction
and behind them we thrived
at least for a time
for troubled beauty was our teacher
often hard to truly reach her
the less I understood
the more I tried.
there, though not always present
our beautiful, troubled guide
ignoring the unquiet ghosts
shunning the unresolved pain
always running from her beginnings

and clenching her fists to the end.

Author: Anne Celano Frohna

I have been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil in hand and would not feel complete without it. And I actually made a meager living at it (and as an editor) for 25 years. I worked for newspapers and magazines, in graphic arts and advertising, and wrote several local history books. But I have also taught English in Japan, been a Nanny in Italy, worked in and for museums, was an Airbnb Superhost for four years, as well as an Etsy shop owner where I sold vintage items I found over the years of thrift and yard sales. After moving to Arizona with my family in 2010, I completed a series of different writing projects, including two books of creative non-fiction: Just West of the Midwest: a comedy (Based on journals I kept during my two years as an English teacher in rural Japan.) Within Close Range: short stories of an American Childhood (Short stories and poems about growing up as the middle of five children in suburban Chicago.) I've also written children's stories and continue to write short fiction, but have recently found my voice in poetry. This blog, however, is where my greatest passion comes alive. I am also a mother of two wonderful girls, Eva (23) and Sophia (21) and wife to one wonderful husband, Kurt.

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