Tuesday, November 29, 2011


She takes the rap
Everything I dish out
If only in my mind
She keeps moving
Her shoulders hunched
From burden of a life

No one kept her safe
Loved her, told her
She was special.
No one showed her how
To be a woman, mother, wife
Have respect for self
How a good man behaves.

No one said you are pretty,
Smart, kind, strong or loveable
She had to eke out a life
Without guidance, love
Or help of any kind face.

She survived and was
Toughened by a life hard
From the beginning
She knew what to expect
What she'd get from this
Life that spit her out.

She didn't know marrying
An abusive man would be
Her undoing where hope
Was concerned. She gave us
What she knew, a good spanking.

She ridiculed and set up, made a sport
Out of beatings. Didn't hug, touch.
Her children never heard I love you
Or you are precious or pretty or smart
For she didn't believe in spoiling kids
Or giving them the big head. She kept
The six at bay so she could have a life.

Such as it was. Her husband came first.
He ate steak while they went hungry.
She'd say she gave her life up for them
And I know she did. A husband who drank away
What he made, six mouths to feed with no support
Her life swallowed up in have-to's and wants
And all the never haves.

They were never a consideration for her
She didn't raise kids to think differently
She worked hard to keep them down
She'd never raised an uppity kid.
She did a good job by her standards
She worked all her life to make sure
She handed down all her knowledge.


Mary said...

Well, Judy, you have told it like it is. I admire that. Thankfully her giving you her 'knowledge' didn't take, you didn't accept her 'gift'; you found your knowledge in other places and didn't pass her knowledge on to anyone. A brave, honest poem here. That's what it's all about.

Heavens2Betsy said...

This is so touching and heartbreaking. I really feel your poetry Judy. You speak with such clarity and understanding. I think this is a stunning piece of writing - open, honest and courageous. penny

Willow said...

You speak the truth which also includes understanding why she was the way she was, is the way she is. You broke the cycle with your ability to see that you didn't want to live her life. Many never see.

Ann said...

Clarity, honesty, with a great punch, Judy.

Mary Mansfield said...

Wow. As everyone else has said, very honest and powerful.

Peggy said...

Wow Judy. You have really shown the many sides of this woman in hour tribute. Your descriptions and voice are so strong and honest here. Wow.

Victoria said...

What a powerful piece, Judy. The concept that she succeeded by her standards is gut wrenchingly true for me, sobering that people's standards are so different, conflicting really.

Morning said...

This is lovely,

sad story, wonderfully told.

Andy said...

And sadly for some, the chain & cycle continues unbroken.
Poignant & beautifully told.
Thanks for sharing.

Congratulation too on your recent award! It's lovely.

Our Candlelight Of Love

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Judy, what a powerful piece - it shows understanding of the cycle of being unloved, not nurtured. This poem really resonates for me. Fortunately our understanding of the why's made our life journeys different from this woman's. Very powerful writing. Thanks for sharing.

Paul Andrew Russell said...

Wow, I can identify with this poem. Very nicely written piece.

Heaven said...

What a moving story... her life for her abusive husband, and she passing on her knowledge. Sad but powerfully narrated...Thank you ~

Laura Maria said...

Thanks for sharing this. Most times we tend to stay away from these harsh realities, but we as poets should bring these out, no? This reminds me of my early work when I would write to expose what many people in the world have to go through.

Bill said...

Let me guess. Mommy Dearest

rch said...

It's funny how once you get older you can see that not all the beatings were to punish you, you just happened to be in the way when they needed to lash out. Powerful piece.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Wow. This drew me in bit by bit, until the moment I understood who you were speaking of, with that one word 'us' in verse 6. (Which I 'm sure was deliberate.) Then it became even more moving and enthralling.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Powerful writing, kiddo, and isnt it amazing how kids can grow up to be whole and warm and wonderful after such a start? I related very much to this poem. You could not have said it any better.