Disapprobation …
who taught you?
To thread the thinnest needle with finest weave
until your eyes were sore with staring
introspection coming from the consequence of criticism
before you ever knew how to hate
you hated yourself
for the pressure of hands holding you down
know your place
stay in line
who do you think that you could be?
Other than our prescribe
the child who learns she does not need
mirrors to reflect back
they will do it for you
with their scorn
packaged in little doses, taken regularly
soon the inculcated, repeat the reverse
I am ordinary
nothing shines
any thought I had of
magic must be
those are only for
the children who stand
outlined in gold
Klimt once painted a woman
her sorrow showed through
all the decoration of her surround
he had neglected to see
beyond beauty, lay the soul
aware in the future she would become
nameless, for her Jewish face must be covered
and, the woman who sits on the metro
staring at her knees
is not too lazy to read
she is trying to hold herself together
judge less, show mercy
whisper the ghosts of Christmas past
through green glass
her face is wane and old with hurt
tired of trying to control
her inner fidget
for without children at her knees
asking what’s for dinner
it is too easy to see
the truth of those first

11 Replies to “First harms”

  1. If all the words and looks that diminish
    That bind
    That wound
    That limit imagination
    If they were inscribed
    Indelible tattoos
    On face, arms, body
    What grim version would we see
    Too clearly
    Of “Lidia The Tattooed Lady”
    Or “The Illustrated Man”
    When busy distraction
    And the clothing of denial
    Fell away?

  2. Ah Lidia – you are brilliant – loved this. Do you think you and I are the only ones who have read The Illustrated Man?

  3. I doubt we are the only ones, but I’ve read everything of Bradbury that has ever crossed my path at least once. I wonder, will I ever encounter actual dandelion wine, that fermented essence of Summer?

  4. Oh you haven’t? They sell it in Europe. I will totally buy you some when I go. Now the one I haven’t tried is lilac wine, from that song …

  5. I have had a hard time lately not writing ‘sad’ poetry, which is a shame, as when I can write other things, I want to, but when I cannot, it’s like nothing else exists in there.

  6. Yes – exactly. I love Jeff Buckley’s version of it also if you have time to listen – he’s done a number of covers of Nina and I think he does them well. Then again, I could be biased as I really love his work. What a crazy thing. His dad (Tim) dying young. Then Jeff. What talents – in such a short time.

  7. LMK if you like his music, I really think he’s good and you will

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