Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Do You Like It?

of course you like it
your son made it
you like everything
he makes at school

but you paused a little too long
before you replied to his question

uhm... I like how much blue you used
and these black lines here
they're bold and uhm...
I like the way they flow

what's bold he asks
and you say brave fearless

good he says
'cause it's a policeman

I like your bold policeman you say
relieved that he seems satisfied
with your response

let's put it on the refrigerator
you say hoping to close the deal

okay he says

after he's gone to sleep
you stare at the bold policeman
in your kitchen
but you still can't see him there

the strange shape
its asymmetry
a little frightening

you wish
you could see
what he sees

more in his mind's eye
than on the page

when you realize
how much you've lost

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the Sometimes something surprising! prompt at We Write Poems.


  1. beautiful again...the last lines kind of seal it with a thought that you leave lingering around...

  2. The beauty of this? Only a loving and engaged parent would even make the connections so clearly defined here.

  3. Tulika, thank you. I almost stopped the poem when the boy says "okay". Glad I continued on; I wasn't sure about that.


  4. Kim, thank you. Being a parent is the hardest - and most rewarding - activity on the planet. It is fraught with landmines of all sorts. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.


  5. I really enjoyed reading this poem. Such is the ache of every parent, to want to but see but be unable to see the world fully through your child's eyes. And the child's ache is to be fully understood by those they love. A really wonderful piece of poetry.


  6. Christy, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. I couldn't say it better.


  7. It isn't easy being a parent, always doing the best and the right things by children. Sometimes we do make mistakes. And anyway, sometimes art is abstract.

  8. Mary, I agree. It's so hard to do the right thing at the right time, and, trust me, I've made plenty of mistakes. I think we should let children do more abstract art; why the focus on something representational?


  9. Oh to get inside the mind of a child! LOL

  10. Lovely. It brought back memories of deciphering my childrens works of art, seeing what they saw. The horror when they told you it was upside down!

    Childhood is a wonderful thing and it's a pity that we lose the delight of it.

    Anna :o]

  11. Jinksy, you said it. There's something so pure about children; we need it.


  12. Anna, thank you. Glad it brought back memories; hope they were mostly pleasant, not the upside down ones.


  13. It is sometimes a painful thought, that we never know exactly what another is thinking or feeling, even the child who is literally a part of us. Your final lines are so poignant.

  14. Mary, thank you. It can be the source of much pain; thanks for acknowledging that. And thank you for calling my final lines "poignant" - that's high praise.


  15. I am getting slow in my old age, or just losing it. I know I commented on this before? I love what you did with this, Richard. You have set the standard high for us this week.


  16. Pamela, it's not you. You did comment on it before - over at my WordPress blog. Thanks. I'm really enjoying the prompts at We Write Poems.