I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

25 April 2015

Wishing You Integrity, Compassion, Courage and Joy

I wish for you, my youngest son,
the things you had when you were young.
But you are now in middle age
and my sweet lad has been a long time gone.

The qualities that you had once —
I don't know where or when they went;
I don't know why you lost them all.
You'd think a mother should know, but I don't.

Sometimes I think it must have been
in childhood, in some gap between
day and night or school and home,
that these things somehow slipped away unseen.

Or was it slow and gradual,
unnoticed, almost invisible,
though evident later — the way that stone
erodes to dust, infinitesimal?

Integrity. You still had that
at 18, when you found out
the insurance you sold was paying for
your bosses' fancy cars and clothes — a cheat!

You visited all the clients you'd signed,
explained they'd gained no peace of mind,
unsigned them, advising that a bank
would give a better deal; then you resigned.

And I was prouder of you then
than if it was a medal you'd won.
Better than riches, the love of truth.
You own it now: truth shifts to your design.

Compassion? Even as a child
meeting smaller children, you smiled
and gently patted their little heads.
They and I were instantly beguiled.

How tender you were with animals,
how keen to help all troubled souls,
how generous. Last time we met
you alternated threats and bribes and yells.

If I knew what was good for me
I only had to do and be
whatever you dictated. Or else.
The comforter who held my hand, where was he?

You still have courage, I suppose,
for mountain heights and slippery snows.
But not enough to face yourself
without the daily dose of pills and booze.

And as for joy, I still recall
your father saying with a smile,
'Happy baby, happy adult.'
For sure you were a joyful little child.

But now there is no joy to see;
just anger, pain and misery.
What stole your joy? Your father's death?
Or something else you never shared with me?

The qualities that you had once —
I don't know where or when they went;
I don't know why you lost them all.
You'd think a mother should know, but I don't.

I wish for you, my youngest son,
the things you had when you were young.
But you are middle-aged and I am old,
and my sweet lad has been a long time gone.

Note: We are completely and permanently estranged, by my choice, and he is most unlikely to read this. If he ever does, it will be further proof to him of my evil and insanity.


Prompt 24 for 'Poems in April' at 'imaginary garden with real toads' is to write a poem wishing for one or more of the qualities named.  (Fairytale aspects optional, but scarcely applicable here, unless in the grimmest ways.)

14 comments:

  1. Its such an enchanting piece..! :D Loved how you incorporated all four wishes into this making it a memorable poem..! :D

    Lots of love
    xoxo

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  2. My heart has been wrung with this poem - I have one son just taking the leap into the real world (college graduate) and my youngest, my second son, just a sweet 7 years old. Yes, this really touched my mother's heart. I send a big hug your way.

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  3. Ouch. Long gone, you say? If anything had power to bring him home the love in this would do it. There is still a possibility that he could come as a prodigal son,
    "What stole your joy? Your father's death?
    Or something else you never shared with me?"
    So sorry, Rosemary. It is good that you were able to move on.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, he has many times returned as prodigal — only to turn on me again. This went on for years. It's easier now to leave that door shut.

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  4. Rosemary,
    This breaks my heart~ Death can do this...I have seen it happen. It throttles even the kindest person I know to be someone else~ There still is a chance and I hope you find your way back to each other~
    Hugs!!

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  5. So sad, Rosemary, and my old battered heart so well understands. Peace to you, kiddo. You - we - deserve it.

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  6. Well, Rosemary, this can be a mid-life thing that he will leave behind.
    Mrs. Jim sort of rescued me. She could see what I had left behind was still in my veins someplace and held tight.
    ..

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    Replies
    1. The poem reads so nicely, it is a shame that the message is not good.
      Bless you, Rosemary. We shall see, I hope in time that we can still see.
      ..

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    2. Thanks, Jim.

      A long mid-life thing; been going on for somewhere between 15 to 20 years. I'm not willing to keep putting myself in the way of it any more.

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    3. You deserve some peace joy and respect for the remainder of your time here. I admire you enormously for your courage in writing this poem. .Our children are not our clones or extensions of ourselves. We provide the foundation, give them out best, and then it is their choice of how they live and behave

      Respect for yourself is the most important quality. ...not allowing yourself to be treated badly by anyone, no matter who it is. There are some, lovely people in this world. The truth is, in a lot of cases we are not related to them. Enjoy everyday and be happy. You deserve it. Hugs from me

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    4. Thanks for your understanding. It's true it took some daring to write this and post it, but it was also a necessary part of the process of release.

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  7. Oh Rosemary, I'm so sorry. My heart hurts for you. And I agree with Rallentanda that it took courage on your part to write and post this. I wish you peace.

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  8. Oh dear, so sad. A very painful poem, still very well-wrought. Thanks for sharing. k.

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