Untamed

Too young to understandethos of beauty regimesshe rejects girlish ritualssees beauty in naturein glitter of make-believe This abnegation of groomingnot rebellion, but appreciationa nuance that escapesMother’s frustrated efforts. (My granddaughters balk at having their hair done, something that drove me crazy as a parent, but now reminds me of myself as a child. One generation […]

Read More

Still Digging

Father, as immoveable as a mountain taught us to orchestrate submontane routes Circumnavigating his rocky moods bestowed upon us a fear of masculinity Resilience instilled the necessity of mining gold from darkness: still digging. (Sketch mine)

Read More

Love Lessons

Had a weird sort of lexicon the man who professed to be my dad – Clamped in his chokehold he’d demand words of devotion Became inured to this dichotomy – spent a lifetime searching for love – Just the right balance of cruelty and kind. (Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @Vjknutson.  Sketch mine.)

Read More

A Convertible Summer

Summer of ’67 British invasion Canada claiming 100 – Dad arrives home in a powder puff blue convertible. Back seat sisters long hair flapping bellowing along with 8-track tunes: Loving Spoonful “Do you believe in magic?” I, barely nine idolizing a sister sixteen – a model with go-go boots and hippie style Cottaged at Sauble […]

Read More

Childhood Home

The place remains in my dreams like a movie set preserved… Have assigned each room a critique – disclosed the crimes Yet, it remains, like a beacon draws me to it, begs reflection What if I could go back now that I can breathe Now that I’ve laid claim to maturity would I discover a […]

Read More

Child Remembers

Not yet double digits when the sting of rejection punctured my ego – “We can’t play with you,” peers gloated; “our mothers said.” What did I know of reasons or replies, just felt a part of me die. Still trying to win approval, heal my nine-year-old heart.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The Pawn

Of course she is away caught in the schism of her parents’ divorce played like a pawn She is emotionally numb incapable of articulating wants and desires – broken though no one notices. (Poem originally appeared on Twitter.  Visit me @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)

Read More

Separated Self

Reach for her across the abyss of indifference – would hold her dear comfort her sorrows – empty promises, I now understand have abandoned her countless times in the name of obligation, this child that is me.  

Read More

Parental Poison

A milk jug, handle turned in, was all it took for father to lather, a barrage of curses decrying our lack of worth, foaming from his mouth – spittle that remains lodged in our psyche – drug resistant venom. (Tuesdays poems come from Twitter.  Follow me at @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)

Read More