Friday, June 10, 2011

Poetry Jam: Protect your cherries (when you swim with sharks)



in the shallow end
of the community pool,
among the gleeful
splashing bodies bronzing
in the sun, a man
teaches his young son
to swim.

"what are you doing?"
she screams, swiveling heads

"didn't you read the
article on kids drowning
in six inches of water!"

pulling her son from
the pool into a big hug,
she glares at the man.

he looks at me.

i look at him.

he hangs his head,
climbing out to
find his own towel

& for the first time in
my life, castrating bulls
with rubber bands sounds
somewhat humane.

ok, so i stretched the picture prompt a bit, but i bet you never look at cherries the same again. this is a sad but true tale as well we witnessed at the pool the other day. written for Poetry Jam.

75 comments:

Pat said...

Sounds like this guy didn't have any balls left - poor thing.

I swear - you can write a poem out of ANYTHING!

Unknown Mami said...

I can feel it in my chest and the pit of my belly. Public humiliation. Yikes.

Pat Hatt said...

Damn they must be shrivelled up and cease to exist
I'd guess anything there is no longer blissed
That is just rather pathetic I must say
And yes the rubber band idea does sound more humane than this type of dismay
Amazing what some people will do and what others will take
Some point one has to stand up and a stand he/she must make

Barbara Shallue said...

I'm admittedly an overprotective mom, but good grief, she makes me feel downright neglectful! That poor dad (and kid!)

Daniel said...

Brian, I can relate all too well. Relationships without respect (going both ways) are doomed.

Helen said...

My heart ached for the guy ... ached. You managed to write an eloquent poem in spite of all the drama.

Bonnie said...

Poor, fearful woman.

Brian Miller said...

helen you make me chuckle with eloquent...yeah my heart ached too...it was ugly...at the church pool too no less...grins.

Everyday Goddess said...

sounds like they are all drowning in her ocean of fear.

Eva Gallant said...

Whoa! Poor guy and poor kid! And I can't believe you were able to make a poem of it!

Heaven said...

Very creative.... I can imagine that scene in my head (me being the mom LOL).

I must try my hand in this jam one time....

lori said...

Any time I see a spouse deflate his or her partner like that, it makes me sad. I know her actions were born of fear, but his hurt is palpable as I read. Really, it makes me hurt for them both, though the guy is definitely easier to empathize with for sure. Existing in a relationship without truly seeing one another is no way to live.

And, yeah, I think my view of cherries is forever altered :)

Slamdunk said...

That must have been uncomfortable to say the least.

I'll hope it was just a fleeting moment of bad judgment--and I'll try not to think too much on your vivid imagery.

Linda said...

You're right Brian. I'll never look at cherries in the same way again.
You do have a way with words!

David Allen Waters said...

ouch...dude, I agree with Pat, is there nothing u cant write about?

KB said...

I love the title.

twinkly sparkles said...

I don't think thinking of fruit in any way sexually is ever far off for me. Fruit is by definition sexual.

I like this poem and don't really need to add anything EXCEPT that sometimes people just don't know any better. Spouses have to teach each other many things....thank god I have one who has been willing and patient with my faults. I have learned a lot. Parenting adds entire unforeseen dimensions and challenges.

But your poem didn't really make me think of this--the comments, however, did.

I didn't really take your poem as an end point, but rather as a glimpse and I wouldn't have thought to comment further if not for the comment thread.

Here's a pun--it stands up fine all by itself.

I think I'm getting into the groove of this Jam stuff...I like it.

Emmanuel Ibok said...

He was just trying to be a Dad...and she was protecting her kid like every hen would do her chicks.

Sad scene.

Bless, Brian!

Tara Miller said...

I felt bad for the husband as we watched this scene play out. I'm sure he felt humiliated by his wife who was being a bit over protective and not seeming to trust her husband's guidance. I do wish she had been more respectful and just watched and trusted.

Good job love of tying the cherries in with this poem. I'll never look at them the same again!!

Reflections said...

Ouch!!! never quite understand when anyone is treated in such a manner... spouse, friend, child, stranger... yet we see it so often these days as we observe the world around us.

Betsy said...

Poor guy. Does he need any cherries if he doesn't wear the pants? ha. Makes you wonder what worse things she says in the privacy of their home? Ugh.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

Hi! Brian...
Words that comes to my mind after reading your poem/piece:embarrassed,humiliation,overly concerned, shrewish woman, a drop-head,shame-faced man, degradation,male,female, red-faced, poet,observation and Thanks, for sharing!
deedee :-(

Pastor Sharon said...

She needed to be smacked down a notch it sounds like. How's the kid gonna learn to swim if she's always hovering?
Dad is whipped....son will be whipped. . . this woman sounds like a screaming demon to me.

Captain Dumbass said...

I could hear the crack of the whip. I think I cringed.

nance marie said...

that one sharky snarky woman

Steve E said...

So THAT'S why I am shy of swimming in pools.

Only water I like contains lots of salt--read: Gulf of Mexico, a thousand-mile pool...with sharks!

As always....Master Brian!

Sue said...

Sheesh.

"/

PS. Hopefully she allows the kid to grow up with a pair. (I have my doubts.)

tera said...

Ha ha, ouch! It's amazing how we can sometimes be so thoughtlessly awful to each other, eh? Fear does that, I think. Too bad we so often live further into fear than joy. Hopefully she, we, me...can learn to be more fearlessly joyful! :)

adeeyoyo said...

People can be so cruel. But in the end it reflects back on the bully! Little comfort though.

Bernie said...

I felt this man's humilation, that child will probably always be a bit frightened of water, wonder if he will trust his father when they are in the water next time. It sounds like a sad situation...Hugs

Baino said...

Haha well I wouldn't have read it without the title! Poor man, needs to grow some!

Dave King said...

A fine poem. I once had a mum tell me that a gypsy had forecast that her son would die from drowning, so she was not having him taking swimming lessons until he could swim properly.

Valerie said...

Oh what humiliation, but I actually felt for both of them.

tony said...

............and sometimes, people drown in fresh air.

TechnoBabe said...

Maybe I am dense, but it seems to me that if the dad did read the article about kids drowning in six inches of water, all the more reason to teach him to swim. It is dangerous for young kids to not know how to swim. My kids were in the pool while they were just babies and were excellent swimmers all through their growing up years. I don't understand that mother's thinking much less the unkind manner she berates her husband in public.

Lorraine said...

I hate put-downs, but she was problably just speaking out of fear...poor guy he's doing the right thing

jabblog said...

How very sad! If she was so worried why was she near water at all? Oh, for the bronzing, of course! Hasn't she heard about skin cancer??
Great poem, though:-)

the walking man said...

Yeah that is exactly step one on the way to creating a sociopath.

darsden said...

hehehe :-)

DJan said...

You're right: cherries will not look the same to me after this poem! And fortunately ladies don't have cherries to protect: they want to get RID of them! :-)

Jen said...

What an example of how fear can completely transform your life and make those you love the most feel like absolutely nothing.

Shrinky said...

I pity the child as much as the man. Wonderful writing, Brian.

ladyfi said...

Yikes... poor dad and poor son!

Sheila Moore said...

Ouch!

Heather said...

wow, poor guy! sounds like they have "deeper" issues!

Claudia said...

he gave up and this makes me so sad. i want to shout: don't hang your head but learn your son to swim before both of you drown..maybe i would've shouted...good i wasn't there..

LadyCat said...

He's probably too emasculated to stand up for himself anymore. Makes you want to do an intervention and save the deflated man. But he's an adult and has the power to make things better. But the child doesn't.
The poor child is learning fear instead of the joy of living. This reminds me of the Kelly Clarkson song, 'Because of You'.
Lyrics go..."Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk.
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
so I don't get hurt.
".

Maggie May said...

I'm afraid I laughed!
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Christine said...

In these neck of the woods they just use a knife and throw them in the bush, sounds like her tongue is as sharp as that. Sadder is, that no one even challenges people like that.

The Bug said...

Hmm - seems like knowing how to swim is sort of helpful to combat against drowning. And also the fact that the father was RIGHT THERE. Sigh.

Stranger said...

Poor man. And poor kid. And poor woman so ruled by fear that she must control all she can, taking away the pleasure in every worthy experience.

Mijayami said...

Love the title and the excellent poem. It's brief but you bring across the emotion of everyone involved very succinctly. Well done!

Margie said...

Oh, this made me feel so sorry for the dad!
But as always, great writing, Brian.

Margie :)

Margie said...

Just saw your comment from yesterday.
(And thank you!)
Sure hope it's cooler there today than yesterday, 100 degrees, gosh that's hot!
Come to Colorado, perfect weather here, 76 degrees with a beautiful breeze!
Stay cool!

Margie :)

PattiKen said...

What struck me was the example being given the young son. Sad.

Beth said...

It is sad whenever a man is shamed by an overprotective wife/mother. She is doing her child no favor. Nor her man.

Great poem! Your poems are always fun to read and full of images.

Vicki Lane said...

What a bitch, Not to mention stupid. How's the kid ever going to learn to swim?

The Retired One said...

Brian, you sure captured the moment for us...feel sorry for the child...seems he is caught in the worst of it.

Syd said...

Sad. Hysteria doesn't do anything. one of these days, the whole house of cards will fall down.

Nikki Rules said...

Poor guy, I know he now wishes he dated the girl next door... Guys always ignore the average looking ones then suffer in the clutches of beauty queens. I'm sure she castrated his bull balls years ago! ;)

Hilary said...

Oh this is so familiar. A neighbour on the street lit into her husband, finger wagging in his face. She opened by addressing him by his full name, as an exasperated parent might do with a child. In front of about six other neighbours. I half expected her to threaten a spanking. All because he very reasonably suggested that she might not know the full story behind someone else's negative behaviour.

Myrna R. said...

Poor guy. For his sake, hope she examines her control issues or he will surely feel an afinity with bulls.

Enchanted Oak said...

Your title was a mini masterpiece. Pop would have done well to pay heed to your headline.

Zouxzoux said...

Ah, humans in all our messiness. You captured it well. Sounds like mamma needs a cocktail.

happygirl said...

Gah.. Are you trying to ruin cherries for me? Thanks for the poem. I'm focusing on the swimming.

kkrige said...

Who to feel most sorry for here - Daddy, with his boy bits slashed, Mommy, with her paranoid delusions that will hurt her in the end, or junior that will be afraid of his shadow & never know what it is like to be his own man.

Pheromone Girl said...

Oh, Brian. That is eternally sad. Those moms. We call then helicopters. I want them all to crash and burn...

Magpie said...

Clever boy, you! Love the title. Don't like that people feel the need to act this way especially in public.

Peter Goulding said...

The irony of course is that the man is trying to prevent his son drowning in six inches of water. Very thought-provoking, as usual.

Goofball said...

why the hell was she so uptight?

ScottF said...

well written, as usual :-) you've captured a moment at hundred of pools around the world!

Titus said...

Oh God. I am cringing with a flicker of recognition.

Mary said...

So sad really. That child will probably grow up with a fear of water. The mother is 'all wet.'

wolfsrosebud said...

Your opening lines are beautifully written. The Dad figure is so needed, unfortunately some get in the way of the training they are meant to do.

sheila said...

Ha! a bit of a stretch with the pic, lol. But great one! Reminds me of several over mothering moms I know. And their poor husbands who try to help and are scooted away. Only to be told they are crappy fathers.