Wednesday, February 08, 2006

POLITICS OF PARENTHOOD

I was just talking with Julia about how MAAP has included lots about national politics lately, which is great, but it has made me want to rein back in and address the more personal politics that happen each day in our own homes. I offer you one of my favorite poems by Birmingham poet Barry Marks, another one of our Big Table Poets. I love the father's voice in this poem and am struck by the poet's honesty. Enjoy!

Daughter

The monster under your bed
is named Bobby or Chris.
He parked his Camaro down the block.

The witch with the gingerbread house
is teaching you not to eat,
or perhaps to puke on command.
You have come to think of secrecy as the art of survival,
the way to live happier ever after, which explains
why you lied about calling me last night
and everything else.

I know that you and Bobby/Chris
will probably sneak out later
on the Harley your mother bought you
and ride into the blood-red sunset,
where the clouds heroically smash into the sky.
You think this is the way dreams
and people die and come true.

When you were born, I didn't care if
you were boy or girl, blonde or red-topped,
as long as you had "10 of each" and your organs
were in the proper configuration.
When you started school, I didn't look for
A's so long as you came home each day
and woke up the next morning.

Now, ADD worries me, but not at all
compared with HIV and DOA.
I screen your friends, not so much for
good breeding as crack pipes, razor-
cuts and concealed weapons.

Time to wake up, Honey.
Time to tell your Daddy
that everything is going to be OK.
The full moon is smirking at the window.
There is something in my closet.
It looks like Britney, Beyonce or Christina,
someone I wanted to meet
before I met you.

- Barry S. Marks

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Poem's got a bite doesn't it? My compliments to the poet.

11:00 AM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

I love, love, love this poem Irene - as always - yet I am stricken by the idea of my daughter going out with Bobby/Chris as a teen!

5:18 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger reniebob said...

...and what if one of mine turns out to be a Bobby/Chris??? Yikes.

8:37 PM, February 09, 2006  

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