Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sine Wave Depression Poem #19


I can be sane if you subtract
my father’s cruelty
and my mother’s worry.

Each was a carnival mirror
that elongated
or compacted me.

I was stretched like taffy
or pounded into a cube
depending on where I stood.

When I left home
they hid in my head—
This happens to everyone.

It took years for me to see
that they were bent
and I was fine.

Now I wonder
what my daughters
see in me.

(published in Disclosures)


In my experience most people don't really begin to see their parents as they are, or as they were in childhood, until about age thirty. That's when the shit hits the fan and we begin to see how they, wittingly or unwittingly, may have damaged our development.

And then, if we have kids, we rightly fear how we may be harming their growth in ways we can't fathom.

As my mother often said, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

As far as the cycle of depression goes, today's poem shows growth away from the generalities of "Entropy" and "Science," coming closer to involvement with real people. The speaker strikes me as more honest than bitter, and that's good. His reference to his daughters also shows a healthy humility with regard to his own inevitable missteps as a parent.


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