Promises, Promises

April 19, 2012

This week at Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop, one of the prompts was: write about a promise. For more great stuff, head on over to MamaKat today!

The Promise

She grips my shoulders as they shake, delicate as Colorado aspens.
“He wasn’t good enough for you anyways,” she says ruthlessly, wiping my tears with her black hair.
“Just you and me, Little Duck. You and me against the world.”  I hate that nickname but I know she means no harm.

“You remember.” She turns me toward her with hard hazel eyes.

“I will love you. The underbelly, the bad stuff, the cracks you’re ashamed of.”

Nobody loves broken girls and suddenly I’m furious. I blurt, “Bullshit. Nobody loves the underbelly.”
She laughs and chucks me on the cheek. “Little Duck. Promise. I will love you anyways.”
People and the things they promise you in the Spring. They’ll leave you and your heart, bloody on the gravel. In your gut you know it’s your own fault.
But that’s the least of your worries.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherri April 19, 2012 at 10:57 am

Very poignant.


CJ April 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Nobody can love the underbelly. Nobody but a mother.


jacquie April 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm

sorry but i just have to respond to CJ’s comment. (and feel free to not post it)

but it’s simply not true …. mothers do not necessarily love underbellies. even as much as one wants – no make that needs – her to. it simply just not always the case. though if you are really really lucky and get your self to take the big risk of exposing just a little piece of your underbelly, you might just happen to run across someone later in life who will perhaps not “love” but be concerned/careing about you even then.


TKW April 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

We have one of those, too.


TKW April 21, 2012 at 8:02 pm

‘Tis true–as we know well in our family–some underbellies are just too hard to bear.


Elizabeth April 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

::sighs:: That is all.


phoo-d April 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm

My mother always says that your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. The soft underbelly is what makes you so strong.


TKW April 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

How do you know what’s in my heart? It’s uncanny.


Privilege of Parenting April 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm

“Eat it,” said my so-called friend, drunk and mean and jealous. I’d caught a fish, big and scary with razor teeth. I let it go and it floated upside down for a confused moment, its soft white belly against the cold green water. Then it turned, green and gold and snaked back into the reeds. I loved that underbelly.


TKW April 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm


I want more of that story.


Sarah April 20, 2012 at 5:24 am

No, baby, it’s not always your fault. And as far as the under belly goes…it’s always loved, if even from afar. Sometimes people just can’t give all that they really want to give. Maybe this applies here. Maybe.



TKW April 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

No, the underbelly is shameful, and believing that anyone loves that is a lie. People will try for a while and do their damndest to understand, but in the end, your underbelly belongs to you–your own broken territory. Underbellies are too full and too ugly to share.


Jamie April 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Wonderful written. I could see and feel it.


May April 21, 2012 at 7:30 am

Wow, this piece is so painful and real. The rawness is not hidden behind something more tolerable. Based on the comments I think that honesty really elicited some unguarded responses from people.


TKW April 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm


Broken hearts seem to bring that out in people. Thank you for coming by.


Jennifer April 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

It’s not your fault.


Tiffany April 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Why is the bad stuff so much easier to believe?


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