Tag Archives: parenthood

Oh the parent who doesn’t know this

There was then a firmness to it
and it was my way to have it that way:
done right and done right away.
It was all “blood-in-the-bone” I know—
what sin can’t be justified with that?
But now that I am here at the end
as God is my witness, it has humbled me.
Too late, but it has humbled me
and now all I have left is love
and all these unanswered texts.

This is the second poem taken from an original longer poem, the other half of which was posted last week.

Thank you for reading Oh the parent who doesn’t know this. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken in New York City several years ago; it is from one of the many marvelous Christmas windows displays that pop in the city at that time of year. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem, and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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True lessons

Dad! said Aaron (he’s five),
I bet I can beat you to the grocery store door!
What’s the use? I laughed, preparing,
knowing exactly what was written in the moment.
You always—WIN!

And on that ‘win,’ I dashed and he dashed
and in all that dashing together
the simple difference in our heights
added up to a tragic occurrence:
his fist smashed me in my crotch.

Calming him down afterward was the second hardest part,
It’s OK, hon, it was only an accident…
I’ll be able to breathe in a minute.

Which just goes to show you that,
1) you don’t always know what is written in the moment,
and that, 2) you’d do it all over again.
(But not so hard, and please God, not so soon.)

Sad to say, but this is a true story which played out exactly as I have described it. I hesitated posting it as I very rarely try to be funny in poetry.

Thank you for reading True lessons. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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You Ulysses

Collectam ex Ilio pubem,
collectam exilio pubem.

A people from Troy,
a people for exile,
and all of us now lost, lonely children.
You Ulysses, hero Ulysses,
you are the most wicked of all!
You call yourself a lover
but with your anger
you’ve built not one horse
but a thousand.
Now do you see
how you’ve breached the walls
you built to protect us?

Depending on your background, collectam ex Ilio pubem/collectam exilio pubem (a people from Troy/a people for exile) is either a Latin grammatical mistake or a very good pun. Since the Romans thought of themselves as the surviving exiles from Troy, I thought of it as the start for a poem.

Homer’s epics The Iliad and The Odyssey (and the other fragments we have of the story—for example, the trick with the Trojan horse is not from Homer) are some of the oldest epic poetry we have and are so fundamental to our sense of cultural self that they are still a source of inspiration.

Being a parent is not easy, but everyone does as best they can. No parent is perfect and your ability is often a reflection of how you were raised as a child. So in the end, we are all, sometimes, lost, lonely children.

Thank you for reading You Ulysses. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

john

© 2012 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2012 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.

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