Tuesday, October 5, 2010

One Shot: 13/30

she is 13/30
thick eye shadow
all leg under a
short skirt
looking at you
like she wants a drink
of what you got
plying her wares
at the bus stop

3 in 10
maybe conservative
3 in 10
already sexually active

she is 13/30
parents pride
so mature
apple of
daddy's eye
and the cherry
of every other guy's
your parents are so cool to
let you...
yeah i guess so...

what are you thinking
kool-aid drinking
time to wake up
and smell the bacon
before your little girls
burned on both sides
she doesn't need
another surface relationship,
someone indifferent,
not just a friend
but a parent
to let her know
she is beautiful
& doesn't need to lay down
to realise it...

mom, i need to talk to you...
gimme just a second...
dad...
can it wait for a commercial...
no. i'm pregnant.

(does the long pause
make you uncomfortable?
more than the one that
preceded this moment?)

she is 13/30
& facing a life sentence
before ever
getting even a chance
to begin it...

One Shot Wednesday - Write a Poem, come join us...opens at 5 pm EST....tonight.

145 comments:

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Very powerful stuff today Brian. It's a conversation that you hope to never have to have, but sadly it occurs all too often.

Daniel said...

Awesome message. Neglect and indifference toward our children leads to problems and behavior issues! Invest your life in them with all that you have.

Tina said...

Oh, I've seen this girl. She breaks my heart. Listening and being involved in our kids' lives is our greatest gift to them, and our biggest responsibility in life. Nice, tightly packaged reminder you've got here, my friend.

JStar said...

Oh Brian, I love you for this! This NEEDED to be said. Almost with the flavor of Tupac's "Brenda's Got a Baby" We ignore our kids and they go in the wrong directions because there is no guidance. Kinda like the kid I took in. His father is this way. We had a long convo yesterday and he told me that him and his father have never had a convo like this. Everytime he tried to talk to him he was always too busy.

This is sad...Our children NEED our undivded attention and advice...

Dianne said...

wow, so much in those two numbers.
and 13 is the turning point.
a tough book, for all parents, but especially parents of girls: Reviving Ophelia.

Thanks for keeping our eyes open.

Hilary said...

Too painfully common... but beautifully expressed.

Mighty M said...

13...so young and yet I know it happens. Strong stuff.

Claudia said...

brian this was powerful - and you are so right, the big difference comes from the knowledge of being loved by your parents and don't have to search for it elsewhere and suffer from the consequences...great write, fantastic message!

Myrna R. said...

Sad, this girl's life...and there are so many like her.

This is a great way to send a message to parents. As always, your writing oozes depth.

Brian Miller said...

myrna, oozing is one of my best qualities...smiles. just playing around...

Caty said...

I've taken care of these mommas' babies all too often. I always wonder where their momma was?

pink dogwood said...

I have a 13 year old daughter - this was hard for me to read. I don't think I ignore my kids -maybe I am too involved. I just try to be their friends most of the times. This parenting is hard business - I just hope I am doing it right.

lakeviewer said...

Strong! It tells a whole lot of stories with a few words.

Syd said...

Too busy, not enough time, later will be okay--but later is too late often. I think that this must be one of the nightmares of every parent. Powerful stuff.

Bernie said...

WOW.....this really is a true and good message. Parents really do need to listen and yes a child is always for life.......:-) hugs

Gabriela Abalo said...

Brilliant!!

deb said...

raw and real.

as the mother of four daughters (and a son) I think listening is far more important than talking or asking.
and still... prayers for grace always.

Heather said...

well written, here. i do hope i am there for my girls...as they grow into young women.

william said...

yes we all need to make time, very sad friend :) nevertheless, brilliant write ..

Cinner said...

I know some of these girls, they break my heart. kids having kids, not realizing what is in store, then their kids having kids. it is a viscous cycle or can be. Brian I really think you should write a book. just saying.....smiles.

Cindybrown said...

This was great!! I raised 2 girls, it is not easy. They both turned out great!! But i was in their business all the time, I did not want to be one of these parents that their kid built a bomb in their bedroom and the parents had no clue, because they give their child his privacy. Gimme a break, they can have privacy when they are grown!!! You have got to know what they are doing...

Monkey Man said...

A scene repeated all too often. Well said.

California Girl said...

well presented case in poetry

Captain Dumbass said...

That one was fantastic. Good job, Brian.

Abhilasha-The Desire said...

Sad common story but amazingly put.. the best gift we can give to our kids is our time, may be...
And i loved the line where you said she doesn't need to be laid down to know she's beautiful.. How ironic..Great read brian...

Kim A. said...

And another reason I am grateful to have had two boys. I was a wild child and do not have alot of good experience that I could teach a daughter. BTDT--you hit the nail on the head today.

♥namaste♥

drybottomgirl said...

I remember not being ready at 24 and I owned a home and was married! Can't imagine that responsibility at such a young, young age. This writing made me feel like I was playing with a flame, jumping, brightly, and if I wasn't careful to see what was really going on I was going to get burned.....

Jannie Funster said...

WOW. Very deep one, Brian.

TG I'm talking and listening to my daughter now, and I hope we will always keep this communication open, and I think we will.

xo

Goofball said...

we hear rarely about teenage pregnancies in Belgium....they do happen far less than in the anglo-saxon countries as sexual education is more openly discussed here


but yet it still happens way too often, and usually results in an abortion over here.

Sad

Eva Gallant said...

Ohm, you nailed it totally in that one. Too much reality there!

Kate Hanley said...

I really like the rhythm of the poem, it's like hips swaying and then you the message hits you and you feel weird thinking about hips but it really makes it hit home ya know?

Steven Anthony said...

wow, friend...powerful stuff,this one.

Dulce said...

That life sentence... whatever you did must be hard to face.. great one!
:)

Sh@s said...

Wonderful and frightening, too.
Brilliantly put.

anthonynorth said...

Excellently done. A real problem when it happens.

Becky said...

Great Brian! Having girls in their middle to late 20s I can relate.Powerful message.

dustus said...

wow Brian! powerfully lines that convey the dire need of dialogue between parent and child... Thanks for hosting One Shot this week!

Tabor said...

True...unfortunately.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
What a very strong message to send out about parents and their teen-agers. But other key words that I also "picked-up" in your poem are...worry, communication, (or lack of,) and the relationship(s) between parents and their children.
Thanks, for sharing, this One Shot Wednesday.
DeeDee ;-D

Timoteo said...

Getting REAL! Good stuff.

KB said...

Sad but true. Powerful OS, Brian.

Kodjo Deynoo said...

I love a poem of subject, lessons it teaches. One Shot

Desert Rose said...

GREAT depiction of a serious topic Brian! as always you are master of your lines..powerful and very very well written :)

Ben Langhinrchs said...

Terrific message, and you picked an eloquent way to describe it. I have a daughter myself, and I lived in fear of this moment, but I also spent a whole lot of those moments before letting her know she was loved so she wouldn't need to lie down with some guy to know it.

Thank you.

Prayer Girl said...

Our society and it's idolization of sexuality doesn't help when it is aimed at such young ones. Parents are so important. Deep stuff here.

PG

Tracy said...

Oh, so very well said, Brian. I don't have kids and wouldn't have the slightest clue how to raise them in current times.

gospelwriter said...

Powerful and frightening - what are we doing to our kids? I like the way you weave a story out of what should be an eyeopening lesson for parents. 13, ach - poor child!

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

straight to the heart Brian! ignore them and they will come... pregnant or worse. Great stuff!!

ds said...

This happens far too often. A terribly sad situation which you have, as always, rendered beautifully. Extra scary for mothers of daughters--and extra poignant. Thank you.

alex said...

wow...thats really a good message you put out there very true
):)(:(

June_Butterfly said...

Hit it right where it should.i guess this is something no parent nor girl would want to face,unless in a good situation.

I just posted my post.And still trying to link,haha!!Hope i can link on time.

Great Work!!Fabulous Words!

CM said...

Sadly, very true. I've seen this in my profession and it just angers me. What is up with these parents who want to be best friends instead of being PARENTS!

Very straight to the point one shot...you made a good statement here.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I got married when I was 15 ......... I wish someone had told me I was worthy and did not have to settle.....

SuziCate said...

Very powerful, true, and sad. Nice job.

Maureen said...

Poetry, as you show here, is a wonderful medium in which to address an important issue in a way everyone can understand.

tony said...

Yes.some Things Are More Important Than Commercials.....

Mama Zen said...

This is scary as hell.

RiikaInfinityy said...

Wow powerfully written, great thoughts and love the flow of the poem, :D~

Scott said...

Good one Brina. It's funny: I've had music going in the background while I read the One Shots and when I clicked onto your piece this song called "Pornstar Dancing" came on. Just funny how things come together sometimes. Loved "wake up and smell the bacon/ before your little girls/ burned on both sides"

Jerry said...

I need to look all my daughters in the eye more often and say something. Then hug 'em tight.
Thanks Brian

Asobime said...

heavy and powerful stuff.

It sings of the modern human condition. Brave stuff, and in your face.

Excellent poem. Thank you...makes me think.

Lady Nyo

Emmanuel Ibok said...

Fantastic write...indeed splendid!

Shashi said...

Very powerful and the way you have divided two types of people. I liked the common place setting... and the intense emotions at play with common words delivered simply.

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

Beachanny said...

So many have said the content words as I'm late to the party I'll just say, the writing was strong, evocative and the images fierce. So hard to find the first slice into a subject and yet you cut right to the source with your opener. Well done.
Gay @beachanny

kkrige said...

I think that you got your message across Brian. Lots of attention and a great venue at Oneshot to highlight a sad occurrence. I hope that communication will keep all doors open in my home. Peace

moondustwriter said...

you've been nailing some tough issues lately.
Daddy's little girl needed more attention and less of his back.

Sad one Bri for One Shot

PattiKen said...

Wow, Brian, that was amazing. So powerful, so sad, and so true. Little girls out there, seeking Daddy's love in the only way they have left, because the traditional way just didn't work.

Slamdunk said...

I see too much of those parents who choose not investing time in their children. Good topic and expression Brian.

Kat_RN said...

The conversations need to start way before 13. Good work.
Kat

ladyfi said...

A powerful message that is all too true for too many.

Wonderful and heart-breaking piece.

adeeyoyo said...

Great writing, Brian! Parents are just figureheads now - absent mostly. Poor children... no guidelines, no love... no wonder!

TALON said...

Makes me glad mine all grown up. I sometimes wonder how we manage to survive to the age/stage where we don't have to worry about where they are and what they are doing and with whom. But I guess there are some parents who didn't worry...which is very sad...

Wild Rose said...

Awesome message and they do grow up too first don't they. Well mine is 11yrs old and am out to buy a gun after reading this Brian. Nice oneshot!

e said...

Is this an example of the kids you work with? Very powerful, Brian.

Susan Deborah said...

Quite moving. In poetry the subject seems lovely but in reality, it is quite sad. Wonder how many girls are facing the kind of situation described in the poem. The message is clear and poignant.

Joy always,
Susan

Katherine said...

Our greatest investment in this life is to make time, spend time & be attentive to our children. There is such fragility in youth and when we need to avail ourselves to our children now...not in a minute, not after an add...but now!!
It's hard, I know but it's so important. This One shot has such a powerful message to all parents or caregivers of youth. Great job Brian!!

G-Man said...

I used to work on a girl's wing in a Jeuvie Prison.
I've heard and seen this thousands of times.
You Rock Son....Thanks

Zuzana said...

A poignant post (poem) dealing with the problems many teenage girls face in almost every society.
Beautiful as always.
Have a lovely day dear Brian,
xo

BLOGitse said...

That's why a girl needs a strong and healthy man figure in her life...
Thirteen yrs old might look like an adult but she's still a child and should be...
Let children be children and adults be adults. Children need parents who are adults not their friends - friends are friends. But the bond can be friendly, strong and open...

Matty said...

Powerful message. Parents need to spend time with their children.

sheila said...

so true of so many. So sad. Kids grow up so fast. :o(

Brian Miller said...

i think one of the most frustrating things for me is that some have no expectations, thinking this will help their kids, which is totally unrealistic in the real world...and tends more toward neglect than love...

Belinda said...

It's all too real. Kids having kids is heartbreaking. I remember hearing a Human Rights Watch researcher talk about young girls in Yemen having their second baby by the time they're 13.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

A complete bombshell. Upbringing answers a lot of questions.

CJ xx

sage said...

A strong statement, powerful and sad and it happens all to frequently. Good writing.

Birdie said...

a very strong post Brian, for some of them it ends up in being pregnant, for others in drugs or violence, it's not just the girls, the boys as well ... lack of love and care - so sad what that can do to the kids - or the parents who 'park' their kids in a front of the TV or a computer just to have some 'peace' ... why do they have kids then if they don't want to take care of them ... maybe they had them too soon ... maybe they didn't learn how to love ... it's a vicious circle ...

SY said...

Great post.. this is all so true. Young girl today have nothing to aspire to but to be someone else's girl..

Parents out there need to tell these girls that the only person they can depend on is themselves..

TechnoBabe said...

Fantastic post with a much needed message. It killed me dad said wait for a commercial. The darn TV.

River said...

The sad, sad reality for some girls. It breaks my heart and pisses me off. Great poem

Cheryl said...

Yes, it happens just like that.

Jill said...

SPEAKS VOLUMES!!! VOLUMES!!

Wait for a commercial honey...time is gone.

Gaston Studio said...

SO WELL DONE! Where the hell are the parents these days anyway, they sure don't seem to be "parenting" the way they should.

Lorraine said...

girls and boys will always seek what they're deprived of,oh ...
incredible message here Brian

annell said...

Well done Brian...and sadly so true. Still in a fog here because of allergies...maybe needed to slow down.

Priyanka Bhowmick said...

here's a very good message conveyed. Parents should be open enough for a their children to talk freely. one of the earth's greatest problem. very finely penned!

Vicki Lane said...

Too many like this, alas! So sad, the lack of self esteem that leads to situations like this. Good one, Brian.

Alan Burnett said...

A sad but true comment on the nature of life today and a piece so full of wisdom.

Madeleine said...

Very powerful, profound and sad.

Anonymous said...

if we dont give our children enough time, guidance when they are growing up, most probably we both will regret.

trisha
mydomainpvt.wordpress.com

Eric Alder said...

Wise words indeed, Brian!

(I'm so glad I have a boy!)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Baby mamas, literally. This is a powerful message and so sad.
jj

poemblaze said...

Good job. Life done before begun.

Everyday Goddess said...

so many parents, even ones i am friends with, cannot handle the responsibility of creating young adults.

thanks for your help too.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

"...to let her know she is beautiful and doesn't need to lay down to realise it" - that is so powerful. This poem says it all and eloquently. Thank you!

Kulio said...

give 'em all the love they can stand so they don't search for it elsewhere!! :-)

Joanie M said...

Like what everyone is saying... very powerful stuff today. Kids growing up too fast. Dressing provocatively. Katy Perry singing "let's go all the way tonight" in her song Teenage Dream. Parents need to pay attention to what their young teens are up to.

signed...bkm said...

excellent write on the subject..where have all the parents gone...time is the most important gift you can give to a child...great message...bkm

25BAR said...

That's intensity put very simply!
Well done!

Caribbean Fool said...

Fantastic poem. Loved the ebb & flow of the imagery as it winds ever tighter towards the chilling ending. Your treatment of the issue as a whole is wonderful even if the problem seems so intractable. Having almost been in the situation (well, I'm not a woman but certainly been on the other side) it is a ridiculously complex problem for everyone involved, especially those of us who want to do the right thing for the child. Very strong 1SW poem, excellent reading.

crb.

Mitr Friend - Bhushavali said...

Whoa!!! Its hard to take in!!!

All gals trip to Yercaud
Being a Saree clad Bride's Maid

Jen Chandler said...

Wow. Just wow. I am in awe of people raising teenagers. I think we've all seen this girl, or known her. It's heart breaking.

Magpie said...

Wow, Brian! Powerful stuff. This so speaks to me. I worry all the time about Nicole. We make a real effort to make sure she knows she's loved, valued, important, and worth so much to us. Coming from a place where that didn't happen lets me assure you how very important it is.

Phoenix-Karenee said...

This inspired a new poem. Thank you!

The thoughts you present inspire the desire to isolate my girls in a tower, but we already know that once their hair grows long that's not so very effective. :) Training their hearts and trusting God will last far longer, terrifying as the process may be.

blueviolet said...

My ex's brother's teenage daughter just got pregnant. He started crying and said that he wondered what he could have done differently. We couldn't believe he said that because he himself has three kids out of wedlock. What kind of example has he been setting?

Velvet Over Steel said...

Great message & post on a very sad, yet seriously common topic! It is very sad that some parents want their children to grow up faster than they should. & even much sadder that 'children' don't feel loved enough at home or with themselves, that they look for it somewhere else and in the wrong ways. Very powerful post indeed, Brian!!!

Jessie said...

powerful...sad...and oh so real...

warm smiles,

Carolynn said...

Well done. Someone needed to say it. When I look around at the kids today (I know, that sounds old doesn't it?) I'm so glad I chose not to have any. Big responsibility that.

Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving such a lovely note. You're welcome to visit again, any time.

Chris G. said...

As usual, Brian, you deliver to one Shot with a potent and thought-provoking piece. Beware neglect! See what it does. Sad piece, but powerful, for the all-too-unsettling truth of it and the message that comes with. Nice how you revolved it around those numbers...

Great piece, Brian!

Glynn said...

A few words, and what a story you tell with them. Good one, Brian.

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Works until the 4th stanza. Then it gets really didactic & obvious. It would be incomplete, but all the language would be stronger.

You are trying to show-not-tell, but it's slow. You don't spoonfeed the reader earlier in the poem--why in the last 3/5ths?

Compression will fix this. Write up some aphorisms to summarize your meanings in the last 4 stanzas and then rewrite (and compress more if you can) them. You'll move the poem farther & it will go from being an okay poem to a really strong one.

Doubtfulpoet said...

Hugely powerful and hits you like "BAM" in the face. Sadly this is reality for a lot of girls. I'm glad I made the decision to say no many many moons ago lmao XD

Terresa said...

Tough, gritty poem. It sings a song (nearly raps it out), one that I'd like to share with so many teens I've seen.

The 13/30 bit was brilliant. (gush)

Terresa said...

PS: Brian, hope you don't mind if I highlight your poem this week on my blog. I've put the link near the top, with your name & poem title, under the header "Caught My Eye."

Valerie said...

Heartbreakingly true. I am so glad I never had a daughter, the worry would have seen me off.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Poignant! Gripping!

Feel it to the core!

tuberider said...

Great poem. It totally reminds me of this slam poetry video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0

Pete Marshall said...

another great, though provoking poem my friend...that scares the hell out of me...i have a princess and i just hope i will always be there for her. i love my cockle to bits...cheers pete

gayle said...

This breaks my heart but so often young girls feel like they have to give in order to feel loved!!

JH said...

This is happens too often. Parents need to listen to their children no matter how small the issue may seem. Because small things can possibly grow big. Nice~~~

Lovely Annie said...

I have long lasting chills...That's all I will say!

mairmusic said...

Sad, but too true-- I like the perspective you put in this one.

Amanda said...

brian, this is the best I have read in a long time...kudo's to you for writing this, this is something that happens way too often!! BRAVO MY FRIEND!!!!

Steve said...

Ripped-from-the-headlines galvanizing. Intriguing structure and word usage.

Shell said...

When words make me uncomfortable in some way, that's when I most feel/sense/understand their power. This one will be with me a while, I think...

Sandra Heska King said...

So real. So sad. Powerful poem.

Sarah said...

hits home with me...love this.

Candie Bracci said...

WONDERFUL!!

gautami tripathy said...

I teach girls around her age. And I can understand the dilemma of parents very well. We can't be lax with them. We can't be strict with them. Girls sure break our hearts.

They need us to listen to them. To see them as adults and also to see them as the kids they are. I face it in my teaching life too.

Thanks for posting this.

ecstasies

Help! Mama Remote... said...

WOW!!!!Talk about realization & doing something before this happens.

Otter Thomas said...

Now I am even more terrified about even the possibility of havinga girl some day. Perfectly expressed.

Marla said...

Excellent, Brian. Spot on.

Someone Is Special said...

This is very powerfuls stuff.. I loved it.. Though I am late in reading it, i enjoyed the feast..

You are invited for Room for Romance #2..

--Someone Is Special--

She said...

how sad - that this is what it takes for parents to take notice of their little one's needs. Time with our kids is the best gift we can give, and unfortunately the one many find too expensive to offer.

The Retired One said...

So very, very true Brian...and you know what? This same thing happen(ed)(s) for generations, even long before "can you wait for the next commercial"....
attention is attention...girls and boys will look for it wherever they can find it...mistaking it for love.

Melissa Campbell said...

Love will...must find a way. Thanks for this brilliantly honest message--the world needs to hear it. Blessings!