Family · life · poetry · relationships · writing

No Idea!

Girls are lucky: just need to find the right man –
looked after for life.
Advice from a teenaged brother.

Right! I yell back, fifty years later.
It was all a vacation –
raising the children on my own
looking for God in the midst of chaos
partners with wandering eyes
or absent…always absent…
still waiting for that “looking after”

And how did you make out, Brother Dear?
Oh, that’s right… married
… woman with a good job
willing to let you putter in the background

Guess we were both misled.

(Image my own.)





Family · poetry · relationships

Parental Passages

Carefully we construct
security for offspring –
add luxuries to entertain
accommodate growth
play host to revolving-
door friends and dates.

And yet, we are graded
on performance – met
or unmet expectations –
held up against a stack
of other super parents,
silhouettes of perfection.

Still, we celebrate goals,
sprouting family, ignore
the slanders, and ease
into age with a tad of kook,
or wild inappropriateness –
all expressions of our love.

(First edition of this poem appeared Feb/’18.  Image from personal collection.  Submitted for Reena’s Exploration challenge, choosing the prompt: silhouette.)

art · Family · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

Birch Trees (with recording)

Strains of Tijuana Brass flood the yard
while father on bended knee tends
his garden, tiers of stone edged rows
encircling a trio of birch trees.

Father points out birches on Sunday
drives, as if the bark is sacred, leaves
whispering a secret I cannot hear –
stirs in me an indefinable longing.

My husband planted birch trees
there amongst the flower beds –
how the leaves shimmer in sunlight,
how my heart quickens, bittersweet.

Imagine Father seated there, mellow
as he was in old age, angst expended,
tyranny of parenting set aside – understand
love unexpressed dwells in birch trees.

(Watercolour image by yours truly)

Family · Love · memoir · poetry · writing

Sibling Camaraderie

Remember that time
wading to the caves
St Martin’s summer

How the tide rushed in
Atlantic pulling us apart
my body weak with laughter

How you shouted, coaxed –
once ashore we collapsed
wet but warm, hearts flooded.

(My brother and I weren’t raised together, as his father abducted him at age 10.  Reunited years later, I treasure the moments we get to spend together, even though they are few and far between.  Image my own.)

 

adversity · Family · poetry · relationships · writing

Toxicity

Sold my soul for union –
destruction built-in

Narcissism is a bastard
luxuriates in self-catering

Did not anticipate loss –
innocence slaughtered

Force to grow sensibility
don a tough shell –

Would not let betrayal
call me by name.

It was not meandering
that shredded my heart

but the loss of a child
caught in the crossfire

too young to discern
parental alienation.

(Image from personal collection.)