A Crop Of Lies

He articulates in story,

“bad boy!” to his favorite

toy, in the car seat while I drive.

Each word spaced precisely. 

“I am so angry!  

You. Need. Time. Out!”

So fierce and unrelenting

I step in as upbeat arbiter,

“Now can he play?”

“No!,” his tone dark with the

pure manipulation necessary

to control a fire-breathing dragon

with teeth.  “He bites me!”

my grandson wails behind me.

And listen, it takes two 

hands to open that plastic mouth,

so this is obviously

sheer malice.  I’m hopeful

for a second chance.

In Hawaii, children raised

by their grandparents’ patience,

drenched in ancestral lore,

while parents did the heavy lifting

undistracted, family mealtimes

proving the connection.  Special

gifts celebrated, growing

unhindered by the needs of busy-

ness. Old and young would laugh

in delight opening the world

presence.  In my culture, we

post pretty pictures to all 

our contacts. Here’s the life

I wish I led! while chained

to these brutal tasks, a paycheck 

to grind the earth to a shell.

In my stillness, I hear our hearts

cry for release amidst

the blared airwaves

solutions for our misgivings.

Diagnoses and prescriptions the cash

crop and we sow the seeds

of our despair with the fierce

capitulation of a smacked

child, turning to pass

the harsh lesson: conform,

be penitent

or be cast out.

In our desire to belong,

we hold out our hands

for these painful cuffs.


Inspired by Penitent, Contacts, Articulate and Drench.

Published by

Victoria Stuart

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

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