May 18 Reading My Son’s Poetry


“When you are happy, you enjoy the music. When you are sad, you understand the lyrics.”

You might never guess this, but I come from a family of poets. My mom is a published poet and she has tons of poems. I would classify her poems as inspirational. Definitely uplifting, spiritual. I write poetry, too. Not the flowery, happy, rhyme-y, uplifting kind, though…surprise, surprise. I am a dark  poet, full of angst and woe. Seriously. My alter ego is one Melancholy Baby. Poetry gives me a place to put all of that brooding and darkness, somewhere to store it safely so that I don’t have to carry it around with me all of the time. I’ve been feeling like I need to write lately.

Today for the First time, Tall Handsome Son read a poem to me that he wrote called Old Habits. I have reproduced it down below with his permission. When he told me that he was writing poetry, I secretly wondered if he was a pie in the sky, rhyming kind of dude or a gloom and doom, Kurt Cobain-esque kind of guy. Well, guess who he took after?

Old Habits

Cover these bruises

Wipe away this dirt

And polish the stones

Of your fallen crown

For if blood is shed

The Earth never stays red

And instead

Returns brown

The heart is a book

And if they rarely look

Keep the pages

That surely spell “shattered”

Big, brass letters

That make it seem better

Are to be put on the cover

For only that matters

Tall Handsome Son refused to offer any interpretation of his poem, saying that it means something different to each person who reads it. In this poem, I hear cynicism. I hear him distrusting the viewpoint that the only thing that matters is face value. He wants us to dig deeper into the heart of a person/situation, but we “rarely look” deeper. I have so much more to say about this, but I don’t want to cloud your interpretation. All I have to say is, pretty deep for a fifteen year old.



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