Poet’s Corner: Ja’Net, Mama’s Vested Love, High School Mixup

Here is the latest installment of Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group


Ja’Net is my youngest sister.

She is a mother of five young adult children,

(three males, two females).

She has lived with one of our

brothers since the age of twelve, which she,

her family and a small poodle still do as a

woman in her forties.

She wears her kindness like a

revolving door. She is grief stricken over

her third son who passed away at the age of

10, nine years ago from a faulty heart.

Her emotional state of mind is

usually hidden behind beer and lately

smoking weed.

She cooks and prepares her family

plates as though she is a chef and owner of

an upscale restaurant. She cleans, washes

their clothes as though she’s the hired

help for an entitled family. She sleeps on

a sofa in the garage, while her family sleeps

cozy inside temperature-controlled rooms.

When she is on the phone with me,

Ms. Mable is an imaginary character I often

assume with her. She then slips into a

character of her own. Our laughter stretches

wider than a field of yellow and white daisies

swaying from a breeze.

As her laughter starts to unwind into

the reality of her daily life from the stories she

shares with me, I can hear the sadness trembling

through her voice.

I pause quietly… and… I listen.

She says quite often, she is dragged

through a constant berating of herself about

her daily life as an alcoholic. Which tells me

that her existence isn’t appreciated or respected

with a simple thank you from a household full

of nonworking grown folks.

Despite the way she is being

treated now by those who don’t whisper

(I Love You) nearly enough, she said she

is grateful for her third son who always

thanked her… for a glass of water.

A few days ago, she shared

with me about what if one day she

decided she’d had enough of the

disruptive noise in the background that

constantly rings loudly in her ears.

She said she would leave walking

with only the clothes on her body, because

she feels worn and disrespected like she

is nothing but a slave being taken for granted.

She wonders how they would survive

without her being in their presence.

I said to her, I hope they would

care enough to change their unappreciative

ways and follow in their brother’s footstep

who thanked you daily for a (glass of water).

Although her love is contagious

for her adult children, her brother and the

poodle, she will always have a photographic

memory of her third son’s constant

appreciation for her from a simple gratitude,

along with his smile that warms her heart

wider than a field of yellow and white

daisies swaying from a breeze.

Tyler Marcil

~ ~ ~ ~

Mama’s Vested Love  

Despite mama’s vested love for others, being ignored by

the Greens, our neighbor became second hand to her.

She would shrug their muted ways off until God gave her

a reason to show kindness again.

Eleven o’clock, we’d arrived home from Sunday morning

Catholic mass. Mama peeled off the clothes she wore

(creamed colored dress, heels and jewelry). She changed into

a pair of casual dark slacks, a tunic blouse and a pair of

comfortable flats.

She walked into the kitchen to prepare crawfish étouffée,

green beans, rice and banana pudding.

Suddenly, she was interrupted by the screams and sirens

she heard through the open door in the living room.

She turned off the kitchen stove and oven.

As she stood in our living room door, an eerier look of

sorrow splashed across her face. When she saw the tall

flames and smoke, she realizes it was the back of the Green’s

house that was on fire.

After the fire trucks arrived, dark clouds began forming,

then a gush of rain started to pour. I saw mama leaving the

house with a tin bucket and plastic covering the top in her


She said to my dad, I’ll be back.

As the rain continued gushing down, I stood in the

middle of the street clads in shorts and t-shirt. I watched

mama walking from house to house in our neighborhood.

Dad was over at the neighbors’ house consoling the family.

Three hours later, I noticed the rain starting to slow down

as the clouds grew darker. I saw mama walking back home.

Her clothes and body were drenched.

She walked over to the Greens’ front door. I saw

Mrs. Green grabbed mama, and she hugged her tightly.

Mama handed her the tin bucket with twenties, fifties and

hundreds pile to the top from the local neighbors nearby.

I heard mama said to Mrs. Green most of the wealthy

whites on another street were eager to give larger amount

of money from their business checking accounts

After mama was graciously thanked by the Greens,

she returned home to a long warm soaking bath,

I’d prepared for her.

She returned to preparing her family meal.

Although she didn’t express her tiredness, deep down

inside I knew she was tired because after cooking, she still

had to write up her lessons for the week, for her third grade

students before class started on Monday morning.

                                                                  Tyler Marcil

~ ~ ~ ~

High School Mixup

Fall 1972

Mama decided to move her family to Morgan City,

Louisiana after she had been commuting an hour each

way daily for four years. She said moving to a new town

would be a level-up for her children to flourish more than

the limited progression our hometown had to offer.

Ninth grade first day of school. I noticed as mama was

inching her way towards the front entrance of the Morgan

City public high school, my heart felt like it was about to explode.

On the right side of the parking lot, I saw a handful of blue and

brown eye teenagers in the far distance. I looked around for more,

but I didn’t see any. On the opposite side of the parking lot, a mass

of gigantic Afros grooving to loud rap music.

As I was slumping down in the backseat of the car behind mama,

I said to myself, I wonder if mama had forgot that public school

wasn’t idealistic for me, only for her other children.

When I entered the classroom, all of the front chairs were taken

by the handful of students, I saw in the far distance. A boy hollered,

“Here’s your desk sweetness,” pointing towards the back of the

classroom. As I walked through their unkind teasing and laughter,

I started praying for the time to rush by like the changes in the weather.

While I was sitting, I felt my chair being jacked up and down.

I heard giggles like I was sitting amongst two-year-olds with no clue

about manners. I looked over my shoulder at them with an angry look

on my face.

What you gonna do cutie,” he smirkily said with laughter from

the others?

Finally, the bell rung. I went to the office, asked to use the phone.

The secretary asked, “Why?”

I said, “my mother dropped me off at the wrong high school.”

This is a fine school young man. Besides, I’m not supposed to

let students use the phone unless it is an emergency.”

Like I told you, my mother dropped me off at the wrong school.”

Okay young man, go ahead and call your mother. You are going to

be late for your English class. Mr. Gregory Hines hates it when

students are seconds late.”

Mr. Gregory Hines hates it when students are late, I hate that I had

to beg you to use the phone to call my mother. Like I said, I’m at the

wrong school.”

Mama rushed over. We drove to Central Catholic High School.

She handed the secretary a check for the semester.

As my eyes glanced quickly around the school’s hallways and

classrooms, I felt like I was reliving my second-grade experience,

where I was the only one resembling the color of the tiles on the floor.

                   Tyler Marcil

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My journey with writing started in fall of 2017 under the direction of Scott Driscoll, who often teaches writing through Path With Art. The organization provide classes for people who have ongoing trauma in their life. Each spring and fall before the pandemic, Path With Art held concerts at the Seattle Arts Museum where I have performed written poems or stories to an audience of 300. A year ago, I joined Under The Rainbow Writing Group and EPIC Poetry, where I continue to share poetry. I’m planning to write a novel including a collection of poetry and a play.































    1. Dear Kizzie,
      I’m sorry for the late respond. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. I’m hoping someday to read before hundreds of people. In the meantime, I’m creating a podcast and will be sharing my poems about my life and experiences from theses poems. Thank you again for your knd words and thoughts. Tyler Marcil

  1. Tyler Marcil. These words are so powerful. I loved these and I read these several times. I felt like I could hear you reading these words as I read. So good. I wish you good luck, but I don’t think you will need luck. I am amazed that you only started writing in 2017. I would love to read a book written by you. Please keep us all informed as you continue on this Journey. Thank you Love to You.

  2. “Ja’Net”: In early 2021, I worked at a mass vaccination site. A woman, in good shape for her 60s and well-dressed, sat next to a slightly younger man, who did not look in great shape for his age, in a t-shirt and jeans. There were in the post-vaccination area, so I asked, as I had asked many patients, “Doing okay after your shot?” The woman replied, “I’m fine, my brother didn’t get the shot. I’m afraid of vaccines, so my brother drove 20 hours to come sit wit me.” “What a great brother,” I replied, and moved on. Three weeks later, she was there by herself for her second shot. “Brother couldn’t come?” Remember, she and I two random strangers who met a couple of weeks ago due to the pandemic. The woman, “No,” he’s a raging alcoholic on a bender. I’ve been sober for many years now.” “Terrible problems happened to nice people,” I told her. Then she went on, “But the worst was when my daughter got hooked on heroin. Thankfully, she’s got through rehab…and is now in nursing schools.” “Thanks for sharing your story with me,” I told her and left. Tyler, you and I met randomly as well, and I am always thankful that we got connect via the “terrible problems that happen to nice people.”

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