Felicific family

She desperately clung
to the image of being a good mum
She said all the right words
She did most of the right things
She impersonated patience
She tried
and tried
and tried
She said sorry when she failed

He leisurely tried
to be a good dad
He said the right words
and some wrong ones
He put boundaries in place
and added some patience
He tried
and tried
and took a break
He said sorry when he failed

The child desperately tried
to be good progeny
It tried to mollify mummy
it tried to delight daddy
but the rule book
was confusing

The suggested prompt for day 10 of #OctPoWriMo as announced in the supporting Facebook group is Power and Control. Since I’ll be away most pf the day, I worked ahead, and took the chance to work on this poem that I started a while ago.

For those who wonder:
– Felicific means causing or intended to cause happiness
– The drawing represents people I know. The poem is combination of conversations I’ve had with different people.

9 thoughts on “Felicific family

  1. Array

    We’ve not met before. How did you know so much about my childhood?
    I know this is fiction, however, because my parents didn’t tend to apologize. They tended to gaslight.
    That the rules were confusing to me is surely not fiction.
    I seriously did a “whoa!” when I read this work, because it was like you were talking about me!

    1. Angela van Son Post author

      If I could say sorry for their mistakes, I would 😦 It must have been tough to figure out they were gaslighting and to realise it wasn’t your fault – a relief, but tough, I imagine. Thank you for responding. I’m honoured.

  2. Dawn D

    I know many a family where the mum never thinks she’s enough, the dad is much more laid back. It’s funny how the pressure of not being perfect as a dad is much less daunting than the one to not be perfect (impossible though it may be) as a mom.
    I find it very unfair.
    Maybe because as a child, I had neither a perfect mom nor a perfect dad, and no matter how hard I tried, I was never deemed a good enough mom (or wife, or woman), and their father was just enjoying life with a yell here and there to give the seriousness to parenting he felt I never gave.
    This said… I know my kids now trust me with many things, and I believe they now know that their dad is less trustworthy. I must have done something right.
    And yes, I did apologise, something my parents never did.

    Thank you for this poem!

      1. Dawn D

        Yes. This is where I think I’m doing Ok as a parent.
        Or when an older sibling twice asked me to advise and support friends who may have to go through an abortion (it didn’t have to come to that in the end, but knowing my child knew they could trust me… that made me feel good)
        It doesn’t stop me from always doubting myself, because for so long I was told I was the dysfunctional one.
        Oh well! At least I have my kids’ trust.

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