Category Archives: poem about families

Retribution

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Retribution

He built himself a sanctuary in the old garage
to shelter from his mom’s complaints, his stepfather’s barrage
of insults that he spewed out whenever he drank beer
and his teenage stepson happened to be near.
He frequented the shadows of their viral house.
Took shelter in the attic, quiet as any mouse.
Hid out in the garden in a cave of loam.
Anyplace his stepfather was not became his home.

His meals lacked spice and savor also missing in his mother.
Her meals furnished nutrition, but very little other.
No laughter flavored mealtimes. The food rendered no spice.

He secreted small bits of food—a slice of bread, some rice—
to feed to his companions—a family of mice.
It was worth the beatings that he’d suffered twice
when that man not his father saw him hide away
some morsel in his pocket and said he’d have to pay.

 Raising his fist, he said he would take it from his hide
and gave another beating  to the boy who never cried.
The boy who simply stored it up—kept all of it inside—
bore the abuse stoically and then crept outside
to commune with his real family who lived in wall and  rafter
of the garage he’d made his home, and filled with love and laughter.
They came out at his bidding, swarmed around his feet
to eat a bit of porridge, some carrot or a beet.

Some crackers from his school lunch, some lettuce or a plum,
proved the presence of a heart that otherwise was numb.
Mice frequented his pockets and sat upon his shoulder—
every generation seeming to grow bolder.
They slipped into his mother’s house when she was sound asleep
and crept into those places where he could never creep.
They nestled in her shoes and chewed out all the toes,
severed all her bra straps, gnawed holes in all her hose.

They found the belt the monster man used to beat their friend,
dragged it deep under the bed and chewed it end-to-end.
When they crept into the larder to finish off the pie,
it must have been an accident that the can of lye
spilled into the sugar, pouring out in one fine stream
right into the bowl that would be placed beside the cream
on the breakfast table.  For how could it be
that vermin knew only the man took sugar in his tea?

 

The prompt words today are sanctuary, garage and nutrition.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/rdp-saturday-sanctuary/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/09/fowc-with-fandango-garage/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/your-daily-word-prompt-nutrition-february-9-2019/

The Leech

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proclaimed to be fine,

The Leech

They’ve plugged up their ears to muffle his mutterings.
They’re tired of his self-serving utterings.

He’s an indulgence they’d like to be shed of,

expunge from their sofa and free their spare bed of.

He thinks it’s tradition that they should take care of him,
yet they’d prefer that their house just be bare of him.

He’s a caricature of self-indulgence,
wallowing in familial abundance.

They need to be boxing his ears or possessions
and signing up for codependency sessions.

They’ve supported him well and sent him to college,
imbued him with clothes, with playthings and knowledge.

Now he needs to be kicked out to find his own life—
to be taught by experience, seasoned by strife.

Lest they make a mongrel of a fine pup,
it’s time they encourage their boy to grow up!

 

 

The prompt words today are tradition, caricature, indulgence and boxing.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/rdp-wednesday-tradition/
FOWC with Fandango — Caricature
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/your-daily-word-prompt-indulgence-December-26-2018/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/12/26/boxing/

Mentoring

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Mentoring

Those in their declining years have wisdom they should share
to give incentive to those younger to achieve what they might dare.
Each youth should have an elder ready to inspire

and show him  different types of things to which he might aspire—
to bring a bit of renegade out from where it’s hidden
so he is not inclined to always do what he is bidden.
Just a touch of wildness befits the mildest maiden,
lest she simply be a helpmate much too fully laden.
And they should also all  be told, each sister and each brother, 
not to squash that renegade they might find in another.

 

The prompt words today are elder, inspire, renegade, decline.  Here are the prompt links in case you want to use them and post a link to your blog on their site:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/rdp-84-elder/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/08/23/fowc-with-fandango-inspire/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/renegade/

https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/Decline

Family Night

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Family Night

Grandma’s tired of pussyfooting, Mama’s tired of tact.
Daddy has lost his silken tongue. I fear that is a fact.
Grandpa has no further wish to sugar coat and pander.
We’ve had an epidemic of hereditary candor! Continue reading

The Meeting

 

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The Meeting

A simple country rube was he,
short at the cuff and out at knee;
but standing with his hat in hand,
he made a gesture brave and grand.
He faced the richest man in town—
a brutal man of wide renown
who saw him as a simple clown—
a fool just made for shooting down.

While in his case, it was debated
whether being educated
made a fellow learning-smart
at the expense of building heart,
nonetheless, he was well-suited.
His choice in fashion not disputed.
Well-barbered, polished, buff and tan,
the epitome of a GQ man.

He stood there in his doorway wide,
framed by the luxury inside
and eyed this bumpkin, shy and dim.
What business had this man with him?
“Speak up,” he barked, “if you are able!
You’ve pulled me from my breakfast table.
Speak your piece and take you off
to plow or hoe or watering trough!”

And though the rube was shy and humble,
he did not stammer, falter, mumble.
He simply drew a folded note
from the pocket of his coat,
handed it over, and said good-bye,
facing him with steely eye,
and with no other reason to stay,
climbed in his pickup and drove away.

The great man turned upon his heel
and went in to resume his meal.
He buttered toast and spread compote
before he thought to read the note.
“Jacob,” it said, “I am Janelle—
that one that you once knew so well.
When I left, you never knew
inside I carried part of you.

But now my life is nearly done,
I think it’s fair you meet your son.
Because of my sad circumstance,
he promised to give you a chance
to reap the harvest you have sown
and meet the son you’ve never known.
But, take care that things do not go badly.
He does not suffer fools gladly.”

 

The prompt word today was rube.

Following: NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 13

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a ghazal. A ghazal is formed of couplets, each of which is its own complete statement. Both lines of the first couplet end with the same end-word, and that end-word is also repeated at the end of each couplet.

daily life color242My sisters and I. Strangely enough, there is not one photo of my mother and father and the three of us girls together. The only family photo ever taken was before I was born.


Following

 The youngest of three, every day down unpaved roads, I tracked my sisters’ footprints.
Nancy Drew wannabe, who needed  fingerprints when I could read their footprints?

My mother’s closet a treasure trove, hidden wonders lay obscured on the tallest shelves.
I fanned her dresses with my fingers, slipped into red high-heels that bore her footprints.

Careful where you walk, my father warned, parting tall grass near the homestead ruins.
Fearful of snakes, I fit my own feet to matted grass that marked my father’s footprints.

That frightening choice of colleges facing me, I knew no other way to decide
than to go where she’d gone, and follow in my sister’s footprints.

The obligation of college over with no more paths worn by other feet to follow,
I chose  Australia, Indonesia and then Africa––following imagination’s footprints.

My niece’s teeth clamped to the old saxophone as its mouthpiece snapped in two,
worn by each of the girls in our family and then by her, as she followed in our footprints.

The Emperor of Chocolate

                                                                             image from internet

The Emperor of Chocolate

I am the emperor of chocolate. I conquer every bar.
I can detect its presence in wrappings or in jar.
When there’s no chocolate to be found, I simply can’t abide it.
I can find it anywhere—wherever you might hide it.
My tendency toward chocolate is a tale I hate to tell;
but I cannot help it, for it’s congenital.
My mother abused substances—namely, Russell Stover.
She could not close the box lid until eating them was over.

She couldn’t resist chocolates, though she was not a glutton
when it came to other foods like hamburgers or mutton.
She received a box of chocolates on every holiday—
on her birthday and for Christmas, and for sure on Mother’s Day.
When it came to appreciation, my mother never failed them,
for when it came to chocolates, she always just inhaled them.
One time my dad decided that he would have some fun.
He bought my mom some chocolates to dole out one-by-one.

He hid them underneath the cushion of a chair
to give her one piece daily, but she knew that they were there.
She ate the whole box in two days. It really was disgraceful.
Every time I saw her, it seemed she had a face full.
Only with my father did she manage to save face,
For she bought chocolate-covered cherries and put one in the place
of every chocolate she stole. My father never knew.
She was not tempted by the cherries—a taste she could eschew.

My father always thought he’d pulled one over on my mother,
although I’ve always known that the true jokester was another.
When the box was only cherries, and he offered them to her,
she’d say, “I’ll save it for later,” or sometimes she’d  demur.
To resist chocolate cherries, she was fully able,
and I was fully loyal to preserving mother’s fable.
That’s how my addiction was learned at Mother’s knee,
because the chocolate-covered cherries? She gave them all to me.

 

Here is a link to my favorite photo of my mother, plus other stories and poems about here: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2018/08/01/parental-support/

The prompt today is conquer.