By luck, or good fortune, she comes of age,
And come she does with fitness.
In steps of seven, three to a stage,
We’ve held our breath in witness.
So… with an awkward start; but a rallied march,
She promised nothing simple:
“Come” she said “I’ll soften starch,
Things look better with a crimple!”
And so, we marched into the fray,
For that’s what families do!
Ill prepared and in dismay
We held to what we knew…
As hard as it might be, be there when it matters,
For when love is a cushion, it rarely ever shatters.
© Tim Grace, 11 March 2010
To the reader: Parenting is not a construction activity. Children don’t arrive in kit form to be assembled in pieces. If not built, then sculpted? The child, as a sculpting medium, comes in a soft or rigid state. Those formed of malleable clay are easily worked into shape; their edges are smooth and their curves well rounded. Those chipped out of marble are delicately stubborn and easily broken; they require careful attention to detail and are difficult to repair if shattered… use the mallet skilfully.
To the poet: Poetry is biography; born of experience it should reflect life’s highs and lows. Sentimentality is a literary tool that replaces reality with an overlay of sweet substitutes. It washes away the richness of extremes, blunts sharp edges and glosses over fissures. The sentimentalist arranges nice narrative and pretty prose to avoid the difficult dilemma. In this coming of age sonnet I’ve avoided the brutality of bluntness but left no room for misinterpretation… this was no easy journey.