Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Family Secrets

Forgive the fist

even as it lands
connecting pain with early spring
certainly as birth
and all the other fists like blossoms
forever surprising life
like this: blows
and pushing at the sand
to stand and brace
for more.

That brace: a telephone
unanswered mirrors derelict
in the dark self-doubt
exciting a stack of dusty books
their pages flip in expectation
the riffling wind feels cool the wine
is chilled.

Forgive the ground
even as it stiffens
connecting troy and stone as if
innocent as if it could not shift
and let your body fall through

the layers parting
like truth can
on days when fists bloom
presenting their bouquet
like a gift.

A lot of my poems deal with family - nothing unusual I am sure! however, my family is one of those with a lot of secrets. Secret abuses. It's always been about work around work around. Last night I was going through some poems, thinking I might send some afterall to the Three Candles Book Contest. My daughter listened to a few and became very agitated and upset. Her words:

"But you can't get a book published with that in it. He won't be able to read it ever and if he did he will be very upset. And it's not true anyhow. He's not going to like it!!!" at which point she stormed out.

Now I'm thinking - she's 10. Maybe I do have to wait until she is older or maybe these kinds of books always create divisions and hurt feelings in families. Do they? Maybe this is the real reason why so many poems are about flowers and ponds and geese. We have to write in this kind of metaphor to speak of unspeakable things without anyone knowing!

I'm learning too that no matter what I write, family and friends read it and think it's about them - even if it's not! They feel guilty, or the get angry. No one ever punched me with their fist - but family abuse, domestic abuse, is devastating even without the 'fist' - devastating but part of reality as much as the sand, and as unchangeableand constant as the hard ground. Truth can shift, the stone upon which we fall, for some reason, never does.

So what do I do with all these poems?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you can publish- freedom of speech must be allowed. a lot of your work has very mature and serious, dark themes that you do not have to share with your daughter.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stone gets pounded into pebbles and then to sand and even maleable clay eventually and then with enormous pressure, into rock again

if ice can work its way into one minute fissure (flaw?) in a rock, it will crack that rock after years of freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw.

10:53 PM  

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