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Poem: Palinode to Happiness

If happiness was a person would it be mother
That vile person who filled our heads
With vile words of doubt that poison
A young mind with contempt for self
Before even knowing what self was
Still attached to mother hanging on her
Every word she said about her little beast
Flowing directly into the heart hardening
Against her and the world and others still
Lonely at a length that has been drawn
As a distant shield that is a confused defense
Sheltering from others and a shelter for others
From someone unworthy of their affections
Unable to give affections to be reciprocated
In the only way the child learned how
In cold words and constant criticism
How well mother trained in the ways of unhappiness

Today’s experimental poem is a palinode to my poem If Happiness Was. This was written prior to the d’Verse prompt, but it ended up being my second palinode for the week after An Old Man Confronting Youth.

To learn more about palinode as a poetry form, click here.

Copyright © 2021 TJS Sherman All rights reserved.


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