Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Five Again (For Sarah)

Little one,
like a dewy tulip,
you are too fresh,
too fragile
for this milieu
you selected.

I told you
that there’d be boys
interested in you,
but now
how do I teach you
you can’t save all of them,
or even most of them,
and many of them
will just piss all over
your kindest efforts

You deserve better
and I don’t know where
you learned to
act as their saviour-servant,
because backstage
you’re a pouting,
shouting princess,
more lazy than malevolent.

I wanted you
to return,
but now I know
you can’t come back,

and what I really want
is a time machine
so you could be
five again
and I could memorize
every detail,
every simple joy,
before life
and your depression
stole so much.

I’m always here
little one,
and I’ll always be here,

no matter how
painful it is
to watch you
as you stumble
and trip
into your self.


  1. no matter how
    painful it is
    to watch you
    as you stumble
    and trip
    into your self.

    Parenting is the hardest job in the world... I really felt the pain of this parental monologue.

  2. Oh, Mosk, I know this heartache all too well, as they try to save the ungrateful wretches who cause them such heartbreak. Mine are farther along that path. The good news is, they grow stronger and around 40 start kicking ass. Your daughter has a loving father, that is her bedrock. (Mine grew up fatherless.) Parenting hurts, and I wish they could stay five for very much longer than they do. This is a heartfelt poem and I feel it.

  3. This is so hard to understand and to read... at one point they are always 5 (or even 3) for a parent... I just hope that everything will get better again...

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  5. Anonymous7:57 PM

    this is heart wrenching

  6. A beautiful poem with the "shouting" princess as the sound in this. I must confess, not being a parent I don't understand children at all - they are a mystery. It must be hard to parent them and painful at times.

  7. this is just so heartfelt. the love is felt, even without saying it. <3

  8. Awwee... I wonder if my parents feel the same? <3

  9. I relate to this as depression runs in my family, but a loving and compassionate father makes a world of difference, especially the unconditional kind. My best to you and your daughter, B.

  10. First and foremost -- this is a heartbreakingly beautiful poem. I hesitate to use the word "poignant" because that oversentamentalizes things. And this is just raw in its relating and sharing. Parenting is nurturing, holding close, and then letting go. The letting go and watching can be so very difficult sometimes.
    And a postnote here: love that you shared on dVerse - and have enjoyed your poems there several times. In the future could you put a note that the prompt relates to dVerse and add a link so others might come to the original site, see the prompt and perhaps try for themselves and read others' words also?

  11. Oh this is so beautiful and so very heartfelt!

  12. Every word of it, achingly true. At times I despair over my daughter, her willingness to give all to those who want more. And when I see little kids in the market, all bobbing curls and small shoes and narrower scope, I have to stop myself from telling their parents how it could turn out. Love you, bruddah. Ameleh

  13. Parenting is a most difficult job. This poignant piece goes right to my heart.

  14. Tender and enticing, Buddah. Probably no, there will not be a return for her. My first grade friend, a girl, wanted me to come with her and sit on the storm cellar steps. She closed the door and, ... Well let's say I didn't understand her wants. She left school for a parochial school and I never saw her again.

  15. SMiLes.. depression
    kNows no reaSon
    or daughter
    noW oF
    and FeeLingS
    of Numb are often
    the disability that screAms
    inside the most without even
    bEinG hEard.. soUl withOut a SonG..
    iNside foR hELp..:)

  16. Although I am not a parent, I can still feel where you are coming from. Beautiful and haunting.

  17. The truth is, you are there for her. Depression is difficult to overcome, but it can get better. Love this one, B.

  18. Oh, parenthood! How it wrenches our hearts. Sometimes one can only love and pray.

  19. Oh GAH this is killer. Makes me sick to my stomach, and full of emotion too. Sending love your way and wrapping up mine in the same :)