A parody of functional

family values,

saying no!

an act of defiance,

the comminatory consequences

applied with vicious swiftness

castigation by corporal

belts and fists, open palms,

grabbed and clutched and pulled

frowns and anger seething

the harsh removal of solace


until the fire appears quenched.

Docile silenced child welcomed back


watchful as a ghost

I have carried all these years,

never questioning why I flinch

when someone asks brightly,

do you want some feedback?

And here today

my grandson teaches


so we explore

— under the disapproving gazes

of oppositional octogenarians

firmly holding disaster


preaching pain and

focusing on fear —

The child runs wild

and so

constantly presents

new opportunities

will you still love me

if I do this?  If you say

no, do you mean it

every single time?

to allow these pieces

of my deeply

buried traumas

to emerge


in the fresh air

this child and I create


our beating



the puzzled old eyes

watching stunned

by these new openings,

the ancestral lines quivering

as the past is finally


Inspired by: parody, quench, castigation, and comminatory

Published by

Victoria Stuart

I'm a poet, philosopher and inner seeker. A giver, lover and a healer who studies the heart.

7 thoughts on “Boundaries”

  1. Hi Victoria. This is a lovely poem but one, after 4 readings, that I do not completely understand. Are you a mother trying to teach her son not to use corporal punishment under the watchful and unapproving eyes of your parents and the parents of your son’s wife?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you so much, Judy, for sticking with this and offering such great insight. I changed it a bit and hope it is clearer now. Again, I am thrilled that you let me know where it was/is unclear! Blessings!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s