Father taught us to fetch –
What else are children for?

I did not like his demeaning sneer
nor the way he lorded control

Mother learned to ask how high
when he snapped: “Jump!”

I vowed to be different
to never let him break me

But his arms were stronger
and my fear real, and so

From my father, I’ve learned to fetch –
Anything else I can get you, Dear?

(Ragtag’s Daily Prompt, hosted by Sgeoil is fetch. Image my own.)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

45 thoughts on “Fetch”

  1. What am opening! The sarcastic undertone works so well! This is what poetry is about! This one would go over well at readings, I assume. Fantastic. The depth and scope of your writing is something to be admired.

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  2. My take: You learned to fetch at some point for survival, but hurrah for you! By the very act of writing and publishing this poem, you no longer have to “fetch” and you have transformed into a role model for so many others. Thank You! -Julie

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  3. The image depicted coincides with your poem! Out of fear, we are afraid to leave our comfortable state to go fetch…and I believe that’s what the father was trying to teach his children…he was trying to push them beyond their limitations to teach them to be self-reliant and instill courage in them…I like this poem!

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  4. This today has brought memories, some pleasant and some unpleasant. I try my best to not be what my Dad was to us kids. Still, parenting is completely individual. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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    1. I know what you mean. We try not to do what we hated about our parents, but without a clear alternative we too make mistakes. Guess it’s all learning.


  5. I can relate all too well. It took a while for me to get past it but I did. When I look back, I feel that was the way my dad was taught to be. Unfortunately, archaic mindsets carry down from generation to generation.

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  6. A sad poem to read but even sadder to have lived it. Your writing is authentic and raw. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for having the courage to write! You are brave and strong dear ‘life’ poet!

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  7. This resonates with me. My mom was like that, asking me to fetch her glasses and other things, often while she was napping on the couch. I resented it, thinking she’s not busy, why not do it herself? So I was very sensitive not to do that to my children or husband. Although at this age, if they are up and about and I’m resting, I might ask them to bring something to me “if they don’t mind.” Often they don’t mind, but sometimes I see that look in their eye, even as they do so.

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    1. Funny our perspectives as kids. My father wasn’t lazy, just wanted to make sure he asserted control. It became a war of wills between us which I never won.


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