Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Ballet of Desperation and Low Expectations

We keep waiting
for someone
who is
not coming home,
rather than accept
the woman
who keeps walking
in the door.

No one
was expecting her
to stay a little girl
in a photo album
but her morph
from a faun
to a lizard
is a bite
slimy and foreign,
an offense for me
to swallow.

Her arms
are now tagged
with permanent
graffiti tattoos,
her legs
are wrapped around
a 30 year old teenager
who makes punk rock
and her actions
are the ballet of
desperation and

despite what
every pornified
tells you,
you are sacred,
not profane.

But she won’t
hear it from us.

Perhaps we’re wrong,
but if we’re not,

let the heartbreak
be painful,
but not fatal.

the best lesson,
the only one that
will work,
is an unsentimental
kick in the ass

from someone
other than
her mother and me.

[Posted for #OpenLinkNight at, where poets are rock stars with less vomiting and better lyrics.  Also for #nationalpoetrymonth - whoopie.]


  1. Oh Mosk! This is a pun! I've a feeling my own pop may have written such things...and is no doubt still writing them. I've been kicked and kicked again ;) Funny how we have to learn all the hard lessons for ourselves and run from the wisdom of our elders...yup...still getting kicked...but it makes for some great poetry! Hope the lesson sticks the first time!

    1. Thanks, I know this is a bump in the road, but still it ain't easy, but no one said it would be. :) Mosk

  2. ugh...hard reality man...dont give up...remind her you love her...and be there when the bottom drops you know it is no time to say i told you so or even allude to it...she will get it....i did when i crashed...

    1. Thanks, bro, for the kind words, and I will try to comport myself in a way where I can keep both our dignities. It's just hard to watch the inevitable crash.

  3. there are certain things that are better to swallow from someone else than mother or brother..meanwhile the best you can do i think is accept and love on her... tightly written mosk...feel your heart for her in this

    1. Thanks, and yes, I think Mom nor I will be heard on this one. Love and accept, wise counsel indeed.

  4. Oh, dear... that would be tough to accept... hopefully it's not the real deal, huh?

  5. Oh Mosk, Your love threads every beat of this poem! ...and then the ending is something every parent can relate to; its to find that one they will listen to! Hugs and prayers(())

    1. Thanks, and sometimes all one can do is wait and watch... and love.

  6. It's so hard to watch our kids make decisions that feel so completely wrong to us... but they have to do what they do to figure out their own path... so painful to witness.

    1. Yes, I can only imagine how I set my Pop's teeth on edge with my life choices.

  7. I love this, especially " the ballet of desperation and low-expectations". Very nice

    1. Thanks so much, that phrase came to me but it summed up her whole demeanor lately.

  8. I'm so there with you my friend! Awesome.

  9. Excellent writing Mosk ~ Sometimes the best way to learn and eat the humble pie is to have that painful heartbreak ~ And yes, why is that they will not listen to the family's counsel ~


    1. Thanks, that's why I've stepped back and just watched.

  10. Bruddah mine,

    From the heart... the one that aches for that "little girl," the one that bleeds when she is hurt... how well I know this. You said things for me in this poem that remind me that I'm right in holding back. Of course, Riley lives in SoCal, so I don't know WHOM she is doing. All I know is, no unintended pregnancy! (wink)

    Hope you read this on, and hope all turns out well for Racheleh. You have raised a girl with passions and even furies that you probably don't remember acting out when you were her age... like me. Your sistah, Ameleh

  11. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Your intro. is intense. The lesson in itself, eh?
    30 year old teenager. OUCH!
    Powerful write, Buddah M.

  12. Anonymous1:03 PM

    Strong, intense opening and great imagery.
    30 year old teenager. OUCH!
    great poetry.

  13. Wow! This is really, really good, Mosk. *claps hands*

  14. I hear what you are saying, Mosk. But hard to sit by and watch when you have so much you would like to say. Hopefully someone else besides you will pass the message or she'll learn in her own way, and hopefully ten years down the line she'll be following a different course.

  15. Be patient, if you can, as all things (from my experience) work out in the end. Most of us learn our lesson in the journey, not in the destination we choose. And be kind with your words to her. She'll not forgot a single one you say, whether good or bad.

  16. This is pure genius. I definitely had to learn many things via an "unsentimental kick in the ass" and I think "the ballet of desperation and low-expectations" describes some of those times I went through poignantly well. I'm sure watching it happen is no fun, but I think she will figure it out.

  17. I agree, pure genius. The best we can do is let children grow into the person they choose to be and pray for their health and happiness. The first stanza reminded me of reasons to sob uncontrollably. It takes strength to stand back and watch without passing judgement.

  18. Anonymous3:56 PM

    Oh my! The lizard, the ballet then the kick in the ass and your pain. Great write.

  19. Anonymous5:04 PM

    as we wait, we walk on our toes, we do a dance on egg shells

    Where is the Food when mother is not?

  20. This is such a tough place to be in, so hard to walk that line. But we can only love them, do our best and set them free. I have been going through many of the same feelings watching my kids make their way, and also, their mistakes. It's hard. Love will get you through.

  21. Anonymous7:03 PM

    I don't have children, Mosk...but I feel your pain, remembering my own parents, their pain watching me make some ugly mistakes...That you love that girl/woman...hopefully will see you thru better times. Poignant write:) xo

  22. My brother, at one point, was going to rewrite his will, so that his children wouldn't inherit until they were in there 50s. However, they are now just in their thirties and happily working in Dad's business, so these phases do pass.

  23. ouch. it will be a hard lesson when it comes. but i know you'll be there for her. i loved that title line, too.

  24. Many have experienced similar realities. Few have the skills, the gifts, to write them as you do. This is good stuff, Mosk. Good stuff. Keep it a comin'!

  25. An interesting take on a difficult reality, it seems. But adults have to take responsibility for their own actions, their own life choices. To continue to take responsibility for another adult's action -- no matter the relation -- is to become an enabler, and to cripple one who needs to learn to stand on her own. By 30 she may repent and become a judgmental, self-righteous Republican fundamentalist. Be careful what you wish for...

  26. I can only imagine what it must feel like to sit back and watch, feeling helpless no matter how hard you try. unfortunately, you maybe will take some outside (and potentially cruel) force for change. the tough part is who knows when (or if) it will come.

  27. Anonymous10:16 AM

    Oh, my friend. This is profound, and so sad. As the mama of a 10-year-old (who so desperately wants to be a teenager), I have a lump in my throat, after reading. So well done.