A Story Teller’s Story, A Poet’s Beginnings
BY DEBRA ALLBERY
Somewhere in my files is an abandoned poem called “The Three Stories My Mother Told Me about Herself.” My mother not being a storyteller by nature, nor one given to confidences, these were cautionary tales—lessons learned, now presented for my benefit. The first, on the wisdom of doing what you are told, was about the time she was supposed to wait after the picture show for her father to come walk her the three or four miles back to their rural southern Ohio home, because there were gypsies camped in the woods. But my mother, displaying a disobedience, or, at the very least, a daring I never witnessed in her as an adult, struck out boldly on her own. My grandfather, on his way to meet her, saw his daughter coming, hid in the trees and then jumped out to frighten her—to startle her, she said, back into her good common sense.