“Houses of Silence” and “On a Whim and a Whisper”, two poems … and your Wednesday Writing Prompt
“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams, healing can begin.”
they dwelt in houses of silence
chewed through grudging fences
swam in oceans of best intentions
tried to find one another on the
shores of their fears and confusions,
alienation was their warrior shield
their lives were lived in a boxing ring
the fist in the glove was a malignancy
and the mom passed her days sparring,
she thought the winner would be the
woman who was pretty and hushed
she saw herself as a victim,
she exhausted her own mother’s charity
when she turned her silence on kinfolk
there was no one else she could
beat upon or say her grief to or even
show her bruises and lacerations ~
except for that wee child of silence,
useless in matters of such magnitude
© 2012, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; color sketch by Jiri Hodan, Public Domain Pictures.net
On a Whim and a Whisper
over the woman’s left shoulder
your breath hummed
a background dirge…
for the echo of her lonely feet
plodding the snow-covered streets
to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital,
dripping shame with her broken water
while you wed another in the Byzantine manner
No used-goods for you though you were the user
The child born saw the mote in your eye
growing like Pinocchio’s nose
when, as kin to a secret vice,
you kept her in your dresser drawer
to be pulled out on a whim and a whisper
Is anyone looking?
You missed the wedding
and the short tortured marriage …
You were never there
to teach her how to be with men…
and you weren’t there
when the sweet boy was born
Then, one year,
in honor of Father’s Day,
she dug up your casket
popped the lid open
and set herself free
© 2017, poem, Jamie Dedes; Phoenix Rising photograph courtesy of morgueFile
WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT
We’ve all seen it and perhaps everyone experiences and passes it on to one extent or another: if not physical abuse, then emotional, or some combination of the two, perhaps with the added whammy of abandonment. My mother’s default parenting position was silence. My father’s default parenting position was absence. Both are expressions of abandonment.
I’d never publish these poems were my parents alive. Parents are, after all, in process. They don’t come to parenting in full blossom. They have their own painful holes to fill and histories of which we will never be fully cognizant. I know my parents were wounded soldiers. It’s very likely yours were too. Such things are a matter of degree and it’s good to write about them to help raise the general consciousness, to build understanding, and to clear the trauma, our own and perhaps that of others if the writings are shared. So write about parenting or being parented and the complexity and the issues you’ve experienced or observed.
Share your poem/s on theme or a link to it/them in the comments section below.
All poems on theme will be published next Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook. If you do it’s likely I’ll miss it or not see it in time.
IF this is your first time joining us for The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at email@example.com to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-). These will be partnered with your poem/s on first publication.
PLEASE send the bio ONLY if you are with us on this for the first time AND only if you have posted a poem (or a link to one of yours) on theme in the comments section below.
Deadline: Monday, September 17 by 8 p.m. Pacific.
Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro. It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, showcasing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning nonjudgemental place to connect.
Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded. I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.
My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander Cove, Second Light, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.