Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Only in Acceptance"

This poem came out of the August 4, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] eseme, [personal profile] lb_lee, [personal profile] lynnoconnacht, and [personal profile] mdlbear. It fills the "affection" square in my 6-10-15 card for [community profile] genprompt_bingo and the "acceptance" square in my 8-1-15 card for the As You Like It Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] bairnsidhe. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.  It comes after the stories "Untangling Knots" and "Untying Knots" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer.

"Only in Acceptance"


We remember what family is like,
what Maisie grew up with.

We're not Maisie, but
we still want to have a family.

It's hard to keep in touch
with the folks back home when
there's so much we're not ready
to tell them yet, but

we have a house full of fellow students

and a supervillain expecting a little stranger

and we have each other.

It's that last part in particular
that has taken getting used to,
but we're making progress.

We're just bigger on the inside
than we used to be.


Heron's father Graham helps --

talking with him, yes,
but especially the worksheets
where each of us can record
our own answers for comparison.

There are pages on self-awareness,
shared qualities, and family values;
dysfunctional roles and conflict resolution,
changing emotions, beauty, and acceptance.

Sometimes it helps just to write things down
and see how they related to each other.

We can see what we're doing right
and what we're doing wrong.


Everyone has a role to play,
and a job to do, but nobody
wants to let me do mine.

I do it anyway.

I'm trying to find ways of
doing it that won't hurt the body
we all share, that won't make
my headmates angry,
but it's hard.

Why can't they just accept
that everyone is not made of sunshine?

A family should have a place for everyone.


Our mind is smoke and mirrors now,
some things hidden away, others
floodlit by clear lenses.

We each have our own room,
our own windows on the world,
and we share the view in Front.

We each have our own reflection
that only shows on the inside,
never on the outside.

We are captured in glass and silver.

We are looking at each other,
trying to see ourselves.

It's a funhouse in here.
It's bigger on the inside.


Family is made of affection and acceptance.
It's love that ties the bonds in place,
but tolerance that maintains them.

I can remember what family feels like
but I've forgotten the patience it takes
to put up with other people's flaws.

We all have flaws. I know this.
I just don't remember how
to deal with it anymore.

Maisie knew, but she's gone.

This is what you get when you
cut a whole person into pieces --
not a family but fractions that
don't quite add up to pie.

How do we grow back
what we didn't get in the split?


I touch them, sometimes,
with my talent -- the edges
of ourselves where we used to be
joined within the whole that was Maisie,
then sliced open and now scarred over.

There is no way to heal what was severed,
no hope of closing the gaps between us.

We can be only ourselves.
We can move only forward.

If there are things we need
that we don't find within us,
then we'll have to sow the seeds
and nurture them while they grow.

I reach in to the others.
I reach out to make friends.

It's all I can do to knit the pieces
together now, to make a family
from memories and tidbits.

So I take care of Mallory,
even though she's prickly and
prone to push me away.

Even if our family life is kind of
a mess, it's still a better example
than what she had before.

I hang out with Dace,
who's all proud of himself
for surviving the school year,
already looking forward to summer.

Sometimes I don't know
how he makes me feel, but
that's okay -- we have time
to explore our emotions together.

Family means growing into each other,
leaning on someone when you need a shoulder,
shoring up someone else when you can.

Only in acceptance can we find peace
and the strength to persevere.

Only in affection can we find
happiness while we do it.

* * *


"Happiness can exist only in acceptance."
-- George Orwell

Acceptance is a basic human need. Learn how to accept yourself and others.

Affection is an important part of life. Understand how to get affection and how to give it.

Worksheets cover topics such as self knowledge, self assessment, family values and rules, family mission statement, conflict resolution, family mediation, shared qualities, opposite emotions, my beautiful world, and daily self love.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing

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