?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile PenUltimate Productions Website Previous Previous Next Next
Poem: "Early Days" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Early Days"
This poem is spillover from the March 18, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "parent(s)" square on my 3-6-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by an anonymous donor. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This is a horror poem. It is nightmare fuel. It is about things that can go wrong when superpowers manifest in infancy or early childhood. If you are a parent or work with small children, think three times before reading onward.


"Early Days"


People tend to think of superpowers
as something acquired later in life --
a freak accident, a mark of survival,
or even a hand-me-down artifact.

Those born with exceptional gifts
tend to manifest them at puberty,
but that's not always when it happens.
Some abilities arrive in the early days.

There are stories of empaths and telepaths
born open to the hearts and minds of others.
When babies cry constantly, parents hover,
and hope that it's only colic.

A beam of anything can do
super-scale damage to a nursery,
and infants have little control
over their flailing limbs.
If what you get is a thrown cup
breaking a vase, be grateful.

It's hard enough to get a helium balloon
off the ceiling, let alone a baby
who just learned how to fly.
Terrified parents look up
at the huge blue sky and whisper,
"Thank God it didn't happen outdoors."

To an infant with phasing,
baby gates are irrelevant.
You can't even catch them by hand
to keep them from tumbling down the stairs.

Without control, transformation
changes everything it touches,
every meal turning into a mad tea party.

But those aren't the things
that parents fear the most,
not the ones that send them
to stand for hours in a darkened room
watching their little ones sleep.

The worst nightmares come from
gifts like invisibility and teleportation:
the heart-gnawing fear that
your child will disappear
between one moment and the next,
never to be seen again.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: technoshaman Date: April 17th, 2014 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
yipe. I'm glad our littles are somewhat more settled...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 17th, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

*hugs*

I'm glad too.

Dealing with magical talents is much the same as dealing with superpowers. They can be incredibly disruptive until people learn to control them. It's a challenge even in a magical household, but with magical kids of mundane parents? Miserable.
From: technoshaman Date: April 17th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hugs*

That and arcana doesn't tend to be as *focused* in the uninitated... gotta teach that kid to shield without weirding her out, though. I was too distracted to notice, but my shaman friend said she was making like a beacon...

Oooooh, worse yet, mundane *step*parents.... Mister Potter...

Which, after it makes me wince, makes me giggle, because one of the features of our house is the Harry Potter Suite... considerably larger than Under The Stairs was - enough to sleep four ten-year-old girls comfortably - but it - along with the forty-foot concert hall you have to go through to get to it - was one of the major selling points of the house. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 18th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hugs*

>> That and arcana doesn't tend to be as *focused* in the uninitated... <<

It is if you're lucky. If you're unlucky, it kicks on full blast with no warning. Or else they stumble across a branch of magic that, like a gun, doesn't require knowledge to work, where blindly hitting the right motions will do the trick.

>> gotta teach that kid to shield without weirding her out, though. I was too distracted to notice, but my shaman friend said she was making like a beacon... <<

Ideally yes.

>> Oooooh, worse yet, mundane *step*parents.... Mister Potter... <<

SO. MUCH. FAIL. The first book was lovely to read, they got worse after that, and I soon wound up wanting to beat the holy living crap out of every adult in Wizarding Britain because WTF child soldiers this is NEVER OKAY.

>> Which, after it makes me wince, makes me giggle, because one of the features of our house is the Harry Potter Suite... considerably larger than Under The Stairs was - enough to sleep four ten-year-old girls comfortably - but it - along with the forty-foot concert hall you have to go through to get to it - was one of the major selling points of the house. :) <<

That's awesome though.
pocketnaomi From: pocketnaomi Date: August 13th, 2014 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hugs*

Having watched the setup the four ten-year-old girls rigged out for themselves in there, I'm not sure "comfortably" is a word I'd use for it. (Nor, given that it was a slumber party, was "slept," necessarily.) However, it did fit all four of them; three in their sleeping bags and one draped over a child-sized beanbag chair. And, eventually, I am told there was even some small quantity of sleeping done.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 13th, 2014 08:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: *hugs*

*laugh* That's good to hear.
6 comments or Leave a comment