Today’s prompt got me thinking about what I’ve learned from my parents. It’s a ponderance I’ve had over the years that what’s been learned is a mixed bag. Parental attributes are a double-edged sword, a yin and yang, if you will. I have no idea whether this can be considered poetry or not, but the form set up is a modified acrostic. The first set of Mother and Father expresses what I see as their worst attributes. The second set of Mother and Father expresses what I see as their best. After each letter in the acrostic, you will find what I thought — or think — about those attributes. Next comes what I feel was gleaned from each. There is no real chronology here really. It’s a mishmash. The attributes gleaned are looking from the me who is now.
Bullied, slapped, put us in harm’s way.
“How will I get through this?”
Hatred. Patience. Hope.
Mean for the sake of being mean.
“Why is she always so angry?”
Toughness. Curiosity. Acceptance.
Don’t turn your back if you make her mad.
“Why does she always need to get revenge?”
Frustration. Treading Lightly. Alertness.
“Oh no, you won’t be going. Remember your smirk?”
“She’s such a b*tch!”
Aggravation. Exasperation. Curbing the impulse.
Pimping out her child. Allowing her children to be beaten.
“How could she do this? How could she allow this?”
Confusion. Righteousness. Quest for empowerment.
Get up, you’re not hurt.
“She doesn’t care.”
Toughness. Perseverance. Self-sufficiency.
Afraid of other humans.
“What is there to fear in other humans?”
Cautious. Mistrustful. Curious.
Always focused on what others think and do.
“How can he know what they think?”
Observant. Abandoned. Skeptical.
Rigid rules of use of property and space.
“He won’t tolerate any deviation from his rules.”
Respecter of boundaries. Rule follower. Irrelevant.
To work, to nature, night moves.
“He’s limiting his world.”
Fear of the new. Lover of nature. Hard worker.
A quietly ticking time bomb.
“Stay quiet when you’re upset. Don’t make him too mad!”
Tentative. Unassertive. Inability to express emotions
A meticulously ordered universe.
“Don’t you dare stray from its laws.”
Fearful. Obedient. Schizoid.
She rules and is capable of ruling.
“Mom runs the show.”
Females can rule. Females are capable.
She reads body language like a sociologist.
“She has super-powers!”
Females can be powerful.
Larger than life.
“She fills the room with her presence.”
Females can be heard.
Nothing can harm her.
“She’s the toughest person I know!”
Females can be empowered.
Hard working from a young age.
“She works hard and her employers like her.”
Females can be independent.
Nobody tells her what to do.
“She’s a badass!”
Females can stand up for what they believe in.
Wry and dry and a heartwarming chuckle.
“He could do stand-up.”
Making others laugh brings joy.
Always analyzing people, places, and things.
“He has a lot of interesting theories.”
Inventions to make ordinary life easier.
“Thanks for the stilts!”
Create your own solutions.
The deformed puppy did not run away.
“I wonder if we will find him.”
Sometimes a lie is kindness.
Uncle Fester’s lesser known brother.
“Nobody has a dad like mine.”
It’s OK to be different.
He was sorry he wasn’t Ward Cleaver.
“He actually knows he isn’t perfect and admits it?”
Humility and acceptance of one’s own flaws.