by Gary Hardaway

Autobiography 1

The story of my life
would put insomniacs to sleep.
Nothing extraordinary
has ever happened to me.

Except for you.
God blesses the undeserving
in His mythically

Random Way.

Autobiography 2

Mother never lectured.
Father never lectured.
Nonetheless the lessons
of southern, white, Protestant,
genteel, gentile, lower
middle class expectations

were ingested along
with chicken fried steak,
snap peas, mashed potatoes,
and cream gravy.
In a world of places
it is best to know your own.

Once in a while,
you do get banana pudding
made the right way
with Nilla vanilla wafers,
actual custard,
and lightly browned meringue.

Autobiography 3

Please pardon my existence.
I didn't plan or condone it,

was never consulted in any way,
never asked to be conceived,

developed and delivered,
another unnecessary burden

on the world. I might have voted
to be aborted long before

my crowning, screamed bewilderment,
and terror. From my beginning,

I never felt at home in this skin.
So, pardon my existence. It was

an accident I have always found
appalling and I am

innocent of all its
precipitating circumstances.