Friday, July 30, 2010

The Lock


(An imaginary tale)

My Father locked me in a cupboard
When I was a child of three.
It was dark and I was terrified
But he would not set me free!
I screamed and beat upon the door,
I continued to cry and shout.
'Promise to be good' he cried
'And then I'll let you out!'
I promised, promised, promised,
And at last he turned the key.
I stood blinking in the sunlight,
Thankful he'd heard my plea.
Throughout a miserable childhood
He threatened me every day...
'Back into the cupboard you'll go
So make sure that you obey!'
So I obeyed, so meekly,
I never raised my voice.
Cowed, I lived under Daddy's thumb;
I felt I had no choice.
I grew up as a misfit,
An outcast and a fool,
Always hearing my Father's voice
And obeying my Father's rule.
They demolished the family home last week;
I went round to view the scene,
Gritting my teeth as I surveyed
The spot where my jail had been.
And there, on the ground, I saw it,
Rusting, the very same lock.
I picked it up and held it,
All the while in a state of shock.
Then I took the lock and hurled it
Hurled it with all my might
Away, away in the distance,
Away, away out of sight!
For a moment I stood there shaking,
I was still my Father's son,
Then I straightened my back and walked away
With my face to the blazing sun.


So what's the latest in the news?
Why! Ultraviolet tattoos!
When the light is black they're clearly seen!
(But what, exactly, does 'black light' mean?)
That mild young man you see in the park
May glow with violet after dark!
The hair above looks dark and neat
During the day, when in the street!
But wait till a black-light bulb is found!
He'll glow in the dark then, I'll be bound.
That sweet young thing looking so demure
Will glow with the best after-dark I'm sure!
Purple passion to the fore
But I really wonder what it's for!
One day Grandpa will be retired!
Will his grandkids be inspired
When Grandpa shines all violet!
They'll bury their heads and grin, I bet!
Grandpa will probably feel quite glum;
What a Shrinking Violet he'll become!


Tom said...

haha. good idea for a tattoo.

annell4 said...

I lost my comment -- I wonder where lost comments go?

I just wanted to say the only place to lock a child is with the heart -- to spoil with love. Such an imagination.....I hope....I guess the sorrow is that it could be someone's story.

Brian Miller said...

excellent write...the first one so harrowing yet real...good job throwing hte lock away to trap you no more...

Marilyn & Jeff said...

This is so brilliantly written - and so sad for many abused children.

Suz said...

It's amazing that you were able to keep the rhyme and cadence in such a serious piece...and have it sound so natural....well done

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

Sorry that you have to go through that as a child...

vividly told tale,
admirable courage and wisdom in recalling it and place your experiences in a poetic form.

Kathe W. said...

stellar piece- how awful to treat a child like that-I would have done more than hurl that wretched lock!

Berowne said...

Powerful stuff; well done.

Gabriela Abalo said...

a brilliant take on the theme.
Sad to know it happens more often than not :(

Helen said...

Your beautifully composed Magpie is very hard to read ~ but so worth it!

Tess Kincaid said...

Sad and gripping piece, Brenda.

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brenda: "The Lock" imagery is strongly tactile with deep, heart-felt emotions. Characterization is strong and determined. The characterization and action; a resolving of undue conflict. The "unfinished business" to return to the time of his haunted childhood; the house; the cupboard

"I grew up as a misfit,
An outcast and a fool."

To relive the past and reclaim his locked away self took great strength. That old lock must have been propelled to the moon! A most excellent poem!

RA said...

A great take on the theme! And I did like the tattoo too... :)

Corrina Terry said...

I like the story behind your lock poem! Nicely done. Thank you!

RLM Cooper said...

I really enjoyed the Magpie. Well done!

susan m hinckley said...

Such a well done imaginary tale . . . thank goodness for the "imaginary" part. I guess if it were real, it might have been a very different poem. Fun take on the prompt.

Tattered and Lost said...

I feel a bit of Dickens going on here. Nicely done.

Tumblewords: said...

Oh, yes! He shucked his chains! Nicely composed, as always.

Jessie said...

your first one is so vivid--and sadly, true for some.

thanks for sharing!

Tina said...

Haunting, and real (even though you said imaginary...) and oh so well written. And as a tattoo'd girl (not the glow in the dark, though) I really enjoyed your violet poem.