Family · life · poetry · writing

Familial Legacy

“…too young to notice
how fear persists, and how
the anger that causes fear persists…”
– Immortality, 
by Lisel Mueller

Purposeful, this fortress
permanently ungrounded

Burdened without bearing
fear underlying motivation

Reassured that life is unfair
dedicated to defying limits

Challenged by rage
bloodline ingrained

Pulled towards inevitable
complete collapse.

(Inspired by the promptings of Reena’s Exploration challenge.  To see the full poem and prompt click here.  Image from personal collection.)

aging · Family · perspective · poetry · women's issues · writing

Shallow Measures

Didn’t have to say it –
read between the lines,
the “and you too”
as an afterthought

pathetic attempt to
cover truth – ugly
I was, unlike sisters
whose beauty raved

Only in flashbacks,
time gifting objectivity
do I see it wasn’t true –
depth shines through.

(Image from personal collection.)

creativity · culture · Family · Love · poetry · writing

Christmas Baking

Dates soften in the pan –
I stir with preoccupation
fresh-faced excitement
motivating each step.

I measure sugar, oats,
flour, the enormity
of my heart’s capacity
to love these young ones.

Add butter, and mix,
each stroke a hug,
anticipating enjoyment
a sweet connection.

Pat and bake, timer set,
bright eyes and tiny palms
lift upwards with sparkle –
Christmas cheer upon us.

(For Ragtag Community’s prompt: mix.  Image from personal collection.)

Family · poetry · writing

Was That Really Me?

Was that really me,
signed his life away
fresh-faced, innocent
marched North
then sailed East
to unknown seas?

Fuelled by anticipation,
anchored by camaraderie,
that boy who crawled
through jungle deep
weathered Burma heat
and nightmarish infestations,
adrenaline pumping
infiltrated enemy lines
unarmed, feckless
nursed fears with booze
adopted false bravado.

Was that really me,
that man who emerged
hard-edged, battle-weary,
whose medals of bravery,
buried now, speak more
of loss, and horror
than triumph –

And who is this,
whose rage intimidates
with trigger-sharp precision,
who ravages all that is dear
ideals slaughtered,
hopes destroyed,
whose enemy
now dwells within?

(Today is Remembrance Day.  Spurred by the prompts of Reena’s Exploration Challenge – “Was that really me?”  and Ragtag Community’s “bravery“, I have tried to put myself in my father’s shoes.  He fought for the British Commandos during WWII, and in hindsight, suffered PTSD.)