Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Unworthy"

This is the second freebie for the April 2, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. You have new prompters [personal profile] inky_magpie and Anonymous to thank. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] torc87. It also fills the "disapproval" square in my 4-1-19 card for the School Days Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Love Is For Children.

Warning: This poem contains reflections on past abuse and present hopelessness.


"Unworthy"


Thor didn't understand
what they'd done wrong.

Not really.

They'd been good --
they'd been trying
to be good -- but
no matter how hard
they tried, it never
seemed to be enough.

Thor and Loki had been
raised as princes.

Playing with the children
of other nobles, they had met
Sif and the Warriors Three.

They had grand adventures
together, all around Asgard.

The boys had tutors from
the finest institutions vying
to come to the palace
and teach them.

Their education had
spanned centuries of
history, astronomy,
war skills, fighting,
leadership in war,
and the cultures of
nine different realms.

For Thor there were
kingship duties, too,
and for Loki magic --
each had abilities and
responsibilities that
the other did not.


Even in battle,
the brothers fought
differently, as they
had been trained in
different styles to suit
their physical potential.

They had learned
all the lore of Asgard
and its mighty victories,
how to ward against
its many enemies.

Thor didn't understand.

They had been raised on
stories of the evil Jotun.

Thor had only done what
Odin himself had done,
what had been praised
so many times before --
seeking glorious battle.

Loki had tried to talk him
out of it, and that hadn't
won any approval either.

No matter what they tried,
their father always seemed
to respond with disapproval.

It was a crushing blow.

Thor winced away from
the bitter memories.

He had been stripped
of his rank and powers,
publicly humiliated, and
then cast out of Asgard.

He could still feel the ache
of it where Odin had ripped
Mjölnir away from him, like
an old break badly healed.

Thor had met Jane, loved her,
and then lost her too soon.

There had been battles, but they
no longer felt glorious to him.

His brother was now
an outcast, imprisoned
and beyond reach.

Yet their friends ...
hardly seemed to notice.

Thor gazed down upon
yet another feast and
struggled to feel interest.

When Sif came up to him,
urging him to join them in
their revels, he gave her
a false smile and pretended
that everything was fine.

It was not fine.

Thor knew it all too well,
because he had suffered
bouts of melancholy before,
but now there was no Loki
to bring him joyflower tea
and jolly him out of it.

What was the point,
anyway? They may have
gone a bit too far, but they
were only doing what
they had been taught.

Princes of Asgard were
meant to be warriors,
to be bold and fierce,
to take what they wanted
and wreak havoc upon
their hapless enemies.

If that wasn't what Odin
wanted of them, then why
had their tutors harped on it?

Why were past battles painted
in lapis and gilt on every wall
and ceiling in the palace?

If the Allfather wanted
something else of them,
then why hadn't he just
asked for that instead?

They would have given him
the sun and the moon if
only he had asked them.

They would have done
anything to gain his approval,
if would just give him a hint
of what he really wanted.

Instead, all they had to show
for centuries of education was
disapproval and punishment.

Thor knew that he was unworthy,
would never really be worthy,
even if he could once again
lift Mjölnir in his hands.

It didn't matter.
Nothing really mattered.

Thor looked down at the feast,
sighed, and went back to
his own quarters.

He didn't understand.

* * *

Notes:

"Thor Odinson... you have betrayed the express command of your king. Through your arrogance and stupidity, you've opened these peaceful realms and innocent lives to the horror and desolation of war! You are unworthy of these realms, you're unworthy of your title, you're unworthy... of the loved ones you have betrayed! I now take from you your power! In the name of my father and his father before, I, Odin Allfather, cast you out!"
Odin to Thor

In Love Is For Children, I posit Thor's equivalent human age as 18, because of the majority ceremony in his first movie; and I estimate Loki's age around 16 because he's notably younger but still close enough they can relate to each other. This is similar to calculations made by other fans using various methods, which cluster around the idea that Thor is a very new adult and Loki still an adolescent. This explains so much.

Depression is commonly caused by child abuse, trauma, and other things. Thor is canonically depressed according to his character entry. He also shows signs of it in several of the movies, such as staring glumly into the distance or hanging back from festivities. There are ways to cope with depression or help someone else through it.

Children and teens can be abused in various ways. Odin's A+ Parenting is notorious in fandom for such things as moving the goalposts, stealing/destroying property, humiliation, isolation, and other toxic behavior. Understand how to heal from childhood abuse and help someone else to recover.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing
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