I took all the requisite lessons: 
dance from Miss Rosalind,
riding from Miss Wendy,
piano from Miss Margie.

When I went to summer camp,
an alligator named Lacoste
lounged on my shirts, 
while a pony waited for me at home.

My mother drove a Coupe de Ville,
new off the lot every three years,
had a diamond for every finger,
and enjoyed dining out five nights a week.

My father made more money,
as a livestock auctioneer,
than most lawyers in town,
despite always smelling of manure.


that same mother popped pretty pills,
caroused with divorcees,
and flaunted her affair
with a cattleman named Eugene.

She did not play bridge
or make chicken casseroles
or attend church on Sunday.


that father drank bourbon
out a pint bottle that he kept
in his breast pocket
like a 90-proof boutonniere.

He was never asked to serve as a deacon,
become a member of  the country club,
or join the local Republican party.


though all my birthday cakes
were bakery made
and three tiers high

no one was there to share,
because parents won’t allow
their children to attend the party

when you are seen
as nothing more
than rich white trash.