Digitally reprocessed frame from a film in the publc domain

Poetry: That Muggy August Night

That muggy August
night we waited for
a stranger:

a new boyfriend who
didn’t show.

Momma swore an
threw a stone:

it bounced and
sparked before it
cracked on the
concrete porch–

An momma cried
An momma slapped
An momma bit
An momma snapped–

all because
of that boyfriend
who didn’t show.

(c) Rob Goldstein 1983-2019




29 thoughts on “Poetry: That Muggy August Night

  1. Hi all.

    The email below came from friend and fellow blogger, Mary Smith. I post it because her critique touches on an important
    part of what poetry is about for me.

    I don’t often dive into the emotions and theories that drive my work.

    All of us have sad stories to tell; everyone gets a slice of life’s pain.

    And all of us have moments of pride and achievement to share.

    Everyone has a story to tell.

    My job as a poet is to take a moment of my story and crystallize it
    with words.

    Hi Rob,

    Despite all my efforts and numerous attempts, WordPress wouldn’t post my comment on That Muggy August Night. I wanted you know to know how good I think it is so here’s the comment: Such a complete contrast to the last poem, Rob. I love verses four and five with the alliteration and hard sounds. It’s very real and visceral.

    All the best,


    If WordPress won’t let you leave a comment, please feel free to send
    me an email.


    1. I’m glad the poem worked for you. I see child abuse is a community event, especially when it happens in small towns. Sometimes the culture of abuse is so obvious we can’t see it. I’m thinking about the two Parkland Shooting survivors who killed themselves this month. What is wrong with a community that forces its children to live in fear and shames the survivors of preventable gun violence as ‘crisis actors’? How terrible to be so young and so broken by an tragedy you didn’t cause and would not have chosen to live through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The parents are just as traumatized as their kids. Americans are raising a generation of children who are terrified to go to school. I can’t imagine being the parent of a child who was gunned down in first grade. Our inadequate mental health systems preache3s self help instead of offering help. Our nation is a mess because we allow baseless dogma to dictate public policy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mental health issues will never be addressed correctly as long it remains a stigma to normalcy. This has been since long before you or I ever touched this Earth. More voices need to speak up and speak out and most importantly, be heard.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There are different kinds of mental health issue. There are biochemical problems that medicine can treat with smart drugs like bupropion; then we have existential issues: what some people might call a crisis of the soul, a moment when we have a confrontation with human evil and it changes us forever. The trick here is to help a person survive long enough to see beyond the pain and horror of the trauma.

        We need more crisis centers and a better funded public mental health system staffed by people who are trained to see the link between what we call the mind and what we call the soul.

        I appreciate your reply.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries about my blog Rob.
        I meant to add… we are having another one of our Twilight Zone-ish in sync moments. Here your “Muggy August night” while I’ve been working with “Hot August night”.
        Great big hug!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand why your mom would’ve been upset about being stood up by some douche, but taking it out on you would’ve been most inappropriate – assuming this is a true story.


      1. It is, Josh. This is why we must be mindful of how we treat children. The abuser doesn’t have to be a parent. The abuser can be a president who exploits immigrant children for political gain. I believe that when we witness the abuse of a child, we must do everything we can do to save the child.

        Liked by 1 person

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