Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sword and the Shield

At three I made my own breakfast
from milk and orange juice
a bowl and box of cereal
an unseen hand placed on the lowest shelves.
I was straight and sturdy
proud of my little self.
I never knew.

At twenty, I shunned marriage
turned away from my fine job
headed West--
the summer of love
North Beach poetry
music in the parks.
I was a rebel. I would be different.
I never knew.

"My art comes first," my new husband cautioned
as we left the justice of the peace.
He was crazy
chased women
Onward I marched
Athena, sword drawn.
I never knew.

Ah well. You've heard the story.
Single parenthood
my own crazy
choices that seemed bold and new
creative and affirming.

Until they died, Mom and Dad,
I never knew I marched behind
an invisible shield they held before me.
At last I see, at last I know.

photo courtesty of Willow. Read more writing from this prompt on Magpie Tales.


  1. This is very good! Very clever and orignal take!

    Anna :o]

  2. This is so very touching, Suki. A lovely, personal write.

  3. beautifully written..a different view of power, i think.

  4. I love the insight, the honesty of your poem. Lovely.

  5. I feel so much strength here Suki...sometimes we really don't know until we look back.

  6. A deeply insightful poem - strange that we learn so much and still know little. I love this piece!

  7. This is such a great site! I like the way you set this up! Great content and images as well! Thanks for sharing this! Great works!...Daniel

  8. Yes, we often are blind to the shields of protection and grace surrounding us as we walk through the world. I love your imagery throughout this poem, but especially the first part - the little girl so self-sufficient with her breakfast making.

  9. Weren't you fortunate, or perhaps fortuned, with parents willing to shield one whose path varied from the norm. Seems like a wonderful, loving combination or souls.

  10. Ah, isn't that always so...
    'Until they died, Mom and Dad,
    I never knew I marched behind
    an invisible shield they held before me.
    At last I see, at last I know.'

    An evocative piece, painting many personal memories I can relate to. Thanks!

  11. Wow Suki...I never knew!I'm so enjoying reading your poetry.