Wife vs. Husband or Parent vs. Child ? Im confused lol. is the conflict in this poem between a a couple(wife/husband) or between a parent and a child.   1) there are many lines you have not...

Wife vs. Husband or Parent vs. Child ?

Im confused lol. is the conflict in this poem between a a couple(wife/husband) or between a parent and a child.

 

1)

there are many lines

you have not traced on my palms

still

you think you know me

-

when i speak

you nod knowingly as if 
you've read my mind

and are only politely acknowledging t

he confirmation of my spoken words

2)

but you cannot possibly know w

hat i've been contemplating

these days

 


my head is full of blood

but you show no fear

and i do not trust my hands

which feel to me like stones


you do not cower when i approach

though i am like a runaway train
and i can hear you voice

cool and steady

while my brain screams profanities

into the air around your ears ,

 

our past had given you no reason

to be afraid but still i am surprised you cannot see
the danger burning brightly in my eyes 
the fire i am struggling to control 
3)
as i sit stewing in the kitchen's false

light

with tears my daughter

comes to me

frightened by what she cannot see

afraid tonight to sleep 

i hold her in my arms

singing soft words of comfort

feeling her heart quickly

beating against my chest

knowing before i can think

that i have forgotten us

for our stupid little war

knowing in the incandescent light t

hat anger will never move me

as delicately as she has moved me this

night

 

Thanks

Asked on by chris-09

2 Answers | Add Yours

booksnmore's profile pic

booksnmore | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I'd not heard of this poem before it appeared on the forum yesterday. At first I also thought it was about a husband/wife (or adult couple), but the more I looked at it, the more I thought it was about a parent/child struggle.

In section I, I read a parent's frustration about a child (perhaps a teen) who acts like she is listening, but is actually tuning out the parent.

Section II alerts the reader to the rage that the parent feels toward the child. It sounds like the rage is unexpressed, although the parent is surprised that the child hasn't detected the feelings, strong as they are.

In Section III, it seems that the child does realize that there is a problem. It frightens her, rendering her unable to sleep, and she comes to the parent for reassurance. The parent's rage subsides as they make physical contact.

I don't know if there is a "right" answer in this case. I could argue either way. But to me the flow of the characters indicates that it's most likely between parent/child.

 

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I've never heard of this poem, but I'm going to say it's about a husband and wife argument.  There are a couple things that specifically make me think this, as does the overall feel of the poem.

Specifically, I think the ending of the poem suggests that the parents have been fighting.  When the daughter comes out to snuggle with the speaker, it does not sound as if the speaker has been fighting with her.  Also, the screaming of profanities line suggests that it is a fight between adults.

The overall feel of the poem also suggest to me that this is a fight between adults.  There is no sense to me that the two who are fighting are not equals -- I don't feel that the speaker is trying to raise the person he (?) talks about.  Instead, he sounds more like the other person is his equal and they are not getting along.

That's my opinion, for what it's worth.

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