Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Poetry #2- Slice of Life/Poem

From Wikimedia Commons, by Lilly_M
Many years ago, I read Ralph Fletcher's novel, Fig Pudding. The book is based loosely on Fletcher's own life, growing up in a large Catholic family, and losing a brother in a car accident when they were teenagers. In that book, Fletcher says, "When someone you love dies, you get a big bowl of sadness put down in front of you, steaming hot. You can start eating now, or you can let it cool and eat it bit by bit later on. Either way, you end up eating the whole thing. There's really no way around it."

I think the same is true of children who grow up in the foster care system. Children love their parents, no matter how inadequate or unworthy those adults may be. When those people that they love are removed from their lives, there is a deep grief that colors every relationship and every experience.

And there is also anger-- at being unloved, uncared for, and abandoned by the people who are supposed to care for them. That comes out too, in many different ways. This morning, on Year of Reading, Mary Lee posted a picture of a flame thrower. I looked at that picture, and the thing that immediately came to mind was how the anger that smolders within some people erupts in surprising ways.

I messed around with that idea for a while this morning, then all day in my head. Tonight I revised and reordered and reworked. I even used a thesaurus, which I hardly ever do, to find synonyms for burn. And here is poem #2. Which will also have to be my Slice for today, because I have way too much school work to write any more.



The flame
that smolders
deep within
then blazes

Your words
red-hot irons
that singe
my heart

And I wonder

the rage
that burns within
scorch your soul
like it does mine?

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013


Linda B said...

I wrote a silly little poem in Mary Lee's comments, but that photo said something very different to me, Carol. This sounds like an apt analogy to the foster feelings. I love that you wrote about it, and asked that final question. A loving question?

Carol said...

I saw your poem when I went to post mine tonight. I didn't think it was silly at all, I thought it was really clever. Those of you who write with such beat and rhyme amaze this non-rhymer!

Shannon Mashinchi said...

Wow...amazing poem. I felt that deep in my soul. There are so many things I want to say, but might need to keep them zipped up for now...Maybe I want to ask those questions to a boy I know...THanks Carol!

Cathy said...

This is what I'm talking about. Wow! So many great words.

the rage
that burns within
scorch your soul
like it does mine?



Mary Lee said...

You seemed to have tapped into the Son #2 vein for this one...

writekimwrite said...

Reflective and powerful as so much of your writing on this topic is. You capture this rage. It makes me so sad and yet I know you are not without hope. Hope from your personal relationship with Jesus and from the deep love that flows from that to your sons. As, always sent with ongoing prayers.

Kay said...

What a powerful poem. I see glimpses of that anger erupting from my students. It does burn, even when I know it is not directed at me personally but comes from the experiences they have lived through. The students who make me the saddest are the ones that never let the flames escape but keep them bottled up where they burn themselves.

Beverley Baird said...

Wow - that is searing Carol. It so gets to the depth of the pain these kids/people feel.
In my first marriage I had 2 stepdaughters - only one lived with us. I tried for years to help her. We sought out theraphy but little helped. She was troubled, angry and destructive. After I divorced her dad I seldom heard from her.
I heard from a therapist once that children inpain often act out towards the person they feel the safest with - at the time tht was me. I should have felt better - but then all I felt was defeat.