Retribution

Retribution

I swallow screams for dinner,
hold my tongue the whole meal through.
I’m told I’ll have to eat my words
if I let slip a few.
I’m choking back the clever things
that I want to tell,
but all my smart rejoinders
simply will not jell.

“Better seen than heard,” they say,
and yet they do not see me.
If I’m not allowed to speak,
how will I ever be me?
When I grow up, I’ll talk and talk.
Never will I be quiet.
If someone tries to shut me up,
I simply will not buy it.

By then my folks will be real old.
To shush me? They won’t dare.
If they do, I’ll shush them back, 
and put them in a chair.
I’ll make them face the corner
and tell them to be quiet.
And if they say to eat my words?
I’ll say I’m on a diet!!!

 

For Poets and Storytellers United. Swallow Screams

 

39 thoughts on “Retribution

  1. Mister Bump UK

    Okay, here’s a question for you.
    When I open your post in my reader, it formats the poem correctly.
    When I open your post in your site, it formats the poem correctly.
    What type of block are you using? I can get my stuff to format correctly in one, but not the other.
    I’m using a block of type “verse”, which formats correctly in the reader but which looks awful on my site.

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    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      I don’t use the blocks! I Title my piece, save and close. Then I find it in drafts and when I do, it makes use of the old editor and I proceed as usual. See if this works for you. Let me know.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
            1. lifelessons Post author

              Yes.. I do all of my reading in the Reader, too, and I realize that although I center most of my poems, in The Reader they are left aligned. I’ve never figured out how to over come this, either. If you click on the titles when reading in The Reader, however, they line up correctly.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Mister Bump UK

              Oh, that’s strange. But I published something earlier and it was formatted correctly on both my site and on the notification pane.
              All these little things that never quite happen as you expect…
              I’m not sure I ever saw anything other than left-align in the notification pane. But I never really noticed before.

              Like

  2. kim881

    I remember that so well, eating in silence, listening to everyone chew and swallow, wanting to say something, and being told that children are seen and not hears. I longed to be part of a family that chatted and joked at the table. I really get the lines:
    ‘I’m told I’ll have to eat my words
    if I let slip a few.
    I’m choking back the clever things
    that I want to tell’
    and
    the final lines made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
        1. lifelessons Post author

          This was long before Hard Knock Life. By the time this was on broadway, my dad was long dead and I was in my thirties. And, he never tried to shut us up, except I know he wanted to when I was practicing the piano or singing a duet with a friend
          and he was trying to read.

          Like

          Reply
  3. SAM VOELKER

    I like this poem~! Such memories of youth, and so very well said here. Washing my mouth out with soap worked, and there are a few words that even today I do not utter. But I was true to my mental word, and now even today the little ones wish I would just shut up and eat~!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
        1. lifelessons Post author

          I did. Thanks. Oops.. this didn’t send. Nor did my other message. I’m having a terrible time with email and wordpress. I commented that your property is gorgeous and asked if the entire barn has been converted into a house or just part of it. Is there a third house on the property or is that an outbuilding? Now we need interior shots.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  4. Grace

    I love this to pieces! Too true (and I think I thought this exactly when I was a little kid…) Kinda reminds me of that Cat Stevens lyric “From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen…”

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      I love that song but had never heard that line. I don’t think I ever truly listened to lyrics back then. I sorta listened, but got carried away by the music and it would set me on a train of thought that led me away from the lyrics. Then I’d zap back. Thanks for giving me an excuse to listen to it again. One very nice aspect of the internet is that you have access to almost any song at your fingertips…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  5. Magaly Guerrero

    I never understood the whole thing about better be seeing and not heard. The idea always drove me mad, because as your poem suggests, the reality was that there wasn’t any seeing either. I admire the speaker for promising rebellion if necessary. I also like the voice, how the tone lets me see the child in the words, especially in the ending.

    Thank you for contributing to Poets and Storytellers United, Judy.

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    Reply
  6. Margaret Schaff Bednar

    We could speak at the table – but often didn’t want to 😛 Our family, last thanksgiving, actually got up and danced when a song came on! It was crazy fun. Sweet poem – I hear the child’s inward rebellion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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