Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I hated cloudy days
there were so many.

My hair frizzed,
Grandmother never understood my need
for hairspray, eye liner, pink lipstick.

"Makes you look like a ghost," she'd say.
Grouchy, ignorant, old fashioned, old lady.
What'd she know

about living, love, shoes, fashion, friends?
Only thing mattered to her was cooking, cleaning,
what the neighbors would say, the length of my skirt.

She didn't know my suffering:

I wasn't popular in school, history teacher didn't like me, best friend had two other best friends, though invited to a party, I had nothing to wear, skinny as a rail, wore a bra anyway, had a cute boyfriend for two days, 'til he saw my hypocrite girlfriend, Gail, my heart ached (no really it did).

Through my window, alone,
despondent with so much pain
I watched the rain.

Sometimes I thought I felt
grandmother's gaze,
I'd eat whatever special treat she'd made,
a glass of milk, my belly warm
then she'd say something infuriating,
before I stormed,
slammed the door.

Aaahhh, those cloudy days.

(Submitted to Poetry Jam.)

(Disclaimer - sort of.  I considered removing this poem, because I'm afraid I've conveyed the wrong message.  I was going for tongue-in cheek, a subtle transparency that would demonstrate my childish adolescent thinking versus my grandmother's patient, quiet love.  I'd never say awful things about her now, but then I thought she was my enemy - as many teen agers do during their 'dark' stage, when nothing parents say or do is right. When I revisit those times now, I see how immature I was and wonder how she put up with my antics.  I thought I suffered then because I hadn't experienced the true clouds of suffering that came later in life, and certainly those my grandmother had lived.  

I apologize to my grandmother, and to you.  I decided to leave the poem as a colossal example of unclear writing. 

And now I hope I haven't made everything perfectly unclear.  


  1. smiles..yes they were...when no one really understood us or what we were going through...i never did well with my parents easy fixes, and def felt like hey did not understand...something we can remember growing up eh? smiles.

  2. Myrna, it is very sad when someone like a grandmother makes one's days cloudy and overcast by truly not understanding what it is like to be a youth. The feeling of being judged harshly by a close family member lives a long time, if not forever, inside a person. It sounds like your grandmother gave you mixed messages, which could be the hardest thing of all.

  3. Your True Poetry of Soul touches mine, friend!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

  4. I'm glad you posted it, kiddo. It is all part of the story. I did understand that your grandmother's love was patient, she knew what it is like to be a teen. Such a trying time for parents - and for teens, who suffer so much. I really like the honesty of this poem. Goodness, were I to write of my teens, no one would recognize me at all!

  5. growing up means a lot of tension and think we all felt misunderstood or even un-loved by those around us....even though they loved us dearly... a felt write myrna and brought back some of my own memories as well...

  6. This is true writing, true poetry, the kind that grabs us. And to paraphrase Joni Mitchell, "you've looked at clouds from both sides now".

  7. I understood it. And I winced at far too similar memories of my own - not of my grandmothers because I never knew them but of my parents.

  8. This is quite powerful and maelstrom of emotions and hidden commitments. The heart is so often a complex turmoil of love and duty. Nicely done.

  9. I believe that some words and attitudes we hear as teenagers can be very painful, even though the adluts around us meant well. Sometimes they just did not try enough to understand us.

  10. It's up to us, your readers, to make up our minds and I think it's a good poem. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  11. I got what you were trying to convey, and I thought you did it well.

  12. I love the candor, honesty in your poem ... your memories. Brava!!

  13. I am with you when it comes to cloudy days. Although the poem you wrote, made it sound a little nicer.

  14. So many of us thought we knew so much, until we realized we got old enough to realize we didn't know half the stuff our parents/grandparents knew!

  15. I read love for your grandmother in your poem, and I am sure that she would have felt that love had she read your words. Perfect capture of an adolescent's mind-set!

  16. Thank you for commenting on my blog :)

  17. I understood the teen view in this--well done I think. Teen years were generally agonizing no matter how good one had it I think--so many worries and fears and at least for me so much feeling an outsider. Thanks for posting this.