Pandora’s Box

I am not sure

That I went to bed tonight

The same woman I woke up

 

It was an act of boldness

Of courage, of put-on-your-big-girl-pants

That led me to finally open Pandora’s box today

 

Old battered Whitman sampler tin

Holding the flotsam and jetsam

Of my ever absent father’s life

 

I thought I was prepared

For the types of truths it held

The hand written letters

 

Ghosts calling from the past

My quest had been to finally face

Whether my madness was his madness

 

Did my poet’s soul

Vibrate in frequency with his?

Three generation inheritance

 

Of dyslexia, depression and poetic passion

Trying to glean an understanding

Of nature vs nurture

 

But that humble box

Did not answer those questions

Instead the contents of Pandora’s box

 

Revealed a man whose

Letters to his mother were stunning in their

Child-like expression in hand-writing so similar to my own

 

But the biggest surprise

Was to discover

That the few truths

 

I thought I had been entrusted with

About my parents, about our family

Were a fantasy, a fabrication

 

Refuted by an unexpected

Voice from their past

Were these lies, half-truths told

 

To protect me

To protect his memory

To protect her?

 

There is no objective truth to be sought here

No case to put a detective on

The only players able to provide any insight

 

Are long-silenced

And I am left alone in the wee hours

To sort through the broken pieces

 

Trying to reconcile

Who I thought they were

Who I thought we were

With the contents of this Pandora’s box

 

11 thoughts on “Pandora’s Box

    1. Thank you Sam! I made the mistake of publishing this simultaneously on another more traditional poetry site and received the following feedback, “I like this. I think it has the makings of something significant. Love the first few stanzas. ‘Types of truth’ is excellent and worth stopping over. The latter half morphs from an exploration to a confessional tone. That caught me off guard. Perhaps , when you come back to this, consider keeping the initial tone – it allows a reader to get into the poem better. Some stanzas can be trimmed too. They are like connectors you need to arrive your thought. They can be safely discarded without the reader losing the thread. Best of luck to you.” My gut reaction to this was somewhere along the lines of “Fuck you!” 😉

      Perhaps the lesson learned was that I am actually less interested in constructive criticism than I am in finding camaraderie or that I would take such criticism much more readily from the other writers here at WordPress who I have infinitely more respect for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah… this isn’t a poetry class. They’re a moron. You didn’t ask for critique. I never believed in critique for poetry; you either like it or don’t. No one tells a painter what they should add to their art. No one posts poetry asking for advice on their work (unless they DO ask for advice.) They post it as is. Take it or leave it. People who want to fix things can keep their critique to themselves, they aren’t Dorothy Parker.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I love it. Very personal and powerful. Also, to hell with those people who were trying to tell you to change your work. We write from the soul, not for a fucking B+ in English Poetry. Who made the rules anyway? The Poet did, not the literature teacher! Screw those guys

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sam and Olde Punk! I did reply rather snarkily that I had written it for me, not a particular reader. I actually ended up just taking down all my work from the site, suddenly unsure what I was looking for there. My voice is my voice and I write raw from my soul. If there isn’t room for us in conventional poetry that conventional poetry needs to change, not the other way around.

      Liked by 2 people

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