Our Parents Presented Us with Lessons

This poem came from a request from my mental health counselor to somehow communicate to him what were the dynamics in my family when I was growing up.


Our Parents Presented Us with Lessons…


as in this one morning

the family gathered

for the mother’s day lesson

and mom opened a

surprisingly big package.

when she realized

that it was a cookware set,

she took a pan

and with malice in her eye

threw the pan at the old man,

metal clanging on hard floor.


nothing more said.

nothing said

the rest of the day.

all eyes fixed

on the floor of that house.


so we young boys

went outside

where we

could not see

dad’s shame:

his own

irish-catholic father

deserted his clan

of thirteen kids

and so could not

teach his sons

the strategies of gifts.


we could not see

mom’s anger,

mom whose own

migrained mother

of eleven children

urged her,

with a face

pinched with pain,

not to

marry a catholic,


as they were.


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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

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