A Log Lesson

Written for:  dVerse Poets, Haibun Monday #28  (posted by Grace)  Guest host:  Lady Nyo
The theme is “Childhood Experiences”, whether they be pleasurable or traumatic, but perhaps something that changed the course of your life or impacted you in some  unforgettable way.  So share with us your memorable childhood years, and let’s get to know a little bit of each other’s background.

Our playground favorite is wooden logs. We walk
across them, hang from them, and jump from highest
one. Underneath is an unforgiving cement ground.
I stand balanced on top log, ready to jump. Instead,
I fall face down with instant nosebleed–first one.

Mom comes downstairs, and escorts a hysterical me
into our apartment. She tells me not to make
such a big fuss over it. From that point on I knew
not to count on her for sympathy.

giant maple tree
bare and alone in corner
stays strong through winter’s woes


About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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27 Responses to A Log Lesson

  1. frankhubeny says:

    Now-a-days they have softer material on playgrounds than concrete. I suppose children could still get nosebleeds if they fall.


  2. MarinaSofia says:

    I do wonder if your mother thought she was doing well to ‘toughen you up’. My mother, whenever I fell ill (with flu, cold, etc.) would say something like: ‘Don’t expect my sympathy, I told you not to go out without your scarf and gloves etc.’ So I certainly learnt to bear pain quietly, but I find myself struggling to respond sympathetically to other people’s illnesses.


  3. It’s funny how significant these “little” incidents can be. I bet your mum forgot this whole thing really quickly, but it has stuck with you as symbolic of a turning point in your relationship.


  4. lillian says:

    Wonderful haiku in juxtaposition to your prose. You are the giant tree, standing tall….sometimes our parents’ role is to toughen us up as well. It’s the blending of nurturing and toughening that is the key. I’d say the highest percentage definitely should be the nurturing role. For me, it was a tough fall from my 24″ bicycle…..my parents had enough money for 1 bike so I could only ride it standing up for many years as it was way too big for me at first!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Grace says:

    A very interesting take on the reaction of the mother ~ I would be flabbergasted and would point to my hubby to please handle the situation ~ I also enjoyed your haiku ~


  6. Kathy Reed says:

    I think she prepared you in good stead…I tended to be on the sympathetic side at first….then stated the lesson learned…strong haiku!


  7. ZQ says:

    It doesn’t sound right but I burst out laughing arriving at your conclusion (about your mother). Good one!


  8. I remember the opposite once… falling down into the asphalt getting my lip cut up and helped by a stranger… I really pretended it was nothing.. but I guess I would have done the opposite if mom had been there.


  9. C.C. says:

    It’s so powerful to realize how ideas and relationships are formed in moments like these. You’ve depicted that significant moment well…..and that haiku at the end speaks volumes about what you learned.


  10. Your closing haiku is so powerful, as if your mother’s lack of empathy made you stronger and helped you to stand on your own two feet.


  11. Smiling at the thought of your mother toughening you up for life. So different from what we see now.


  12. ladynyo says:

    Well, this was a familiar life lesson for me…I can deeply relate to your haibun. My mother (having me at 27) wasn’t ‘ready;’ for children. especially her first: me. LOL! What lessons we learn early. Sympathy and hugs trump hard lessons every time. Good one.


  13. Ouch. Two hits in one tumble.


  14. Misky says:

    How sad. No mother should lack sympathy. Actually no one should lack sympathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. lynn__ says:

    I “like” the Haiku and strength of mature tree (person)…not the nosebleed (or lack of sympathy).


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