Ma Barker’s Boy—the One You Never Heard Of dVerse MTB

Ma Barker’s Boy–the One You Never Heard Of
A Haibun

When I regained consciousness, the gravel pitted in my flesh stung as though I’d been dancing with a sea creature whose tentacles held me close, slowly releasing their poison.My recently vacant mind, now an amalgam of dark thoughts, muddled its way through a fog of nothingness. No one heard my anxious calls for help. No one cared.

I struggled to lift myself from the brick pathway, grabbing hold of a chain link fence nearby. A multitude of notices affixed to the metal announced concert venues, lost dogs and items for sale. Two signs warned me “No Trespassing” and “Post No Notice.” Nothing prohibited me from using it to stand, to keep me from losing my balance.

Once again, though I’d cheated death, I’d lost the war. Everything I’d planned for, had worked for, failed. I grabbed hold of a nearby trash can and puked. Disappointment, my constant companion, lingered like a bad taste in my mouth. I couldn’t go home. I couldn’t tell Ma. I headed in the opposite direction and followed my own path to the future. In a nearby maple tree, birdsong erupted.

mockingbird chorus
celebrates hope, sings of joy
life begins anew

Linked to dVerse Meeting the Bar. I’m hosting today and asking for first person poetry, perhaps written from an alter-ego. I’m still playing with the mockingbird theme that Kelly asked for Tuesday, for poetics. 

I do hope you will join us at dVerse today. The pub opens at 3:00 PM EST.


22 thoughts on “Ma Barker’s Boy—the One You Never Heard Of dVerse MTB

  1. i suppose that Ma Barker’s other boy was a feral..
    cat as that’s how it goes in the woods..
    when the other feral cat pin one’s
    ears down for
    staying alive..
    no matter what
    Mama cat says
    you’re own
    iS own furry..
    my boy.. now just
    pin your ears back
    and keep searching
    for them


  2. So imaginative and I love the word choices throughout…dark tone…your haiku contrasts so nicely. Excellent work, Victoria! Thank you, for the challenge!


  3. Superb story and skills!


  4. lillian says:

    The description of the fence places him in a very unsavory place…and he leans there for balance. Ominous. The ending gives some hope….or tells of a sad ending as the tree brings death. I was really within this….


  5. I really enjoyed your narrative. I could feel the struggle, the fall. The hope in the verses at the end is much needed.


  6. Kathy Reed says:

    You make it look so easy! Great idea for the reveals your empathy. I like experimenting with first, second, and third person…wish I had the time to have done mine in all 3 forms. Thank you, Victoria.


  7. Candy says:

    …..or is it? Super haibun!


  8. Mary says:

    Sometimes following one’s own path to the future is the wisest thing. Sometimes Mother does not know best. I like the haibun & the message behind. I wish the son well on his journey.


  9. Bryan Ens says:

    Great haibun. Love your description of the pole …such a simple and seemingly unimportant object, but you use it to bring colour to this story …after all, with someone in this boy’s condition, he likely would be noticing the small things


  10. whimsygizmo says:

    This is excellent. I like your choice of character here, and perspective, Victoria.


  11. Wow..I didn’t want this to end…although I loved the finale of the haiku. I can’t imagine being inside the head of one of Ma Barker’s boys, but you made it look easy.


  12. This is lovely Victoria, I loved the introspection.


  13. Glad Ma was going to be disappointed. I love the mockingbird touch and brighter future.


  14. ghostmmnc says:

    Such a great story, and one I’d like to hear more of! Love the Haiku! 🙂


  15. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    This is absolutely riveting!! 🙂


  16. therisa says:

    An interesting piece, Victoria, would make a great start to a longer storyline, if you got the energy and time, for it. Not all of us, can live up, to our parents’ expectation, which, in this case, is a good thing.


  17. Just an FYI–this is fictional–I don’t think Ma Barker had any kids that weren’t involved in her crime schemes.


  18. Bodhirose says:

    You’re so good at setting the stage for your characters, Victoria. And I bet this guy was a character too but somehow he had enough self-esteem in him to want to get away from a dark path. I love the touch of the Mockingbird at the end…a bright light at the end of a tunnel.


  19. He was such a disappointment to his Ma, wasn’t he? I hope he finds a better, crime-free future in the other direction. Peace, Linda


  20. kanzensakura says:

    Glad this boy is lesser known. It seems he survived to tell about that bird song. I like this solid haibun and how in a contemporary way, it brings together the five principles of a good, solid haibun and how the micropoem at the end is actually a real true haiku! Excellent work.


  21. Glenn Buttkus says:

    Your imaginative prose is always a delight. This is a solid haibun, & it even has the mockingbird from the former prompt. I liked the lines
    /my recently vacant mind, now an/amalgam of dark thoughts, muddled
    its way through a fog of/ nothingness/.


  22. I really like it Victoria, the fact that you take up one of the less known of Ma Barker’s boys it feels like he also managed to create his own future.. The visual narrative of finding yourself in an alley like that is excellent and also to be guided by the mockingbird into light.


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