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Freya Manns Creaton

United Kingdom

Message to Readers

Not sure if the meaning of this poem comes across obviously enough, please let me know your thoughts on it.

To My Teenage Daughter

February 12, 2016

FREE WRITING

1
We are flawed
Me and your father
We aren’t the perfectly invincible parents you had when you were eight
determined to swing as high as you possibly could
always knowing that one of us would be shielding you
from a harsh landing
and I know you are starting to see that now
See that, we don’t know what we’re doing
We aren’t qualified
and our tearaway daughter with the older friends,
the locked room and blaring music
is just as incomprehensible to us
as A Level algebra is to you

The lullabies that once soothed you
are white noise
as omnipresent and mundane
as the clock ticking or the police sirens wailing
and no amount of silently tucking your sleeping body into a faded bed set
when your room is usually completely out of bounds
will change that

Your needs are so much more complex
and your cries aren’t as easily resolved
as they were back when all you craved was a new teddy bear
These emotions, so alien to you
are natural to me
and the heartbreak that keeps you up all night
sobbing into the shabby bear from years ago
is something that I can’t fix
and that’s heartbreaking in itself
For I am helpless as my daughter cries a stranger’s name
into her cracked mobile phone

Whoever he was
However much he mattered
I can wholeheartedly promise you
that he won’t be the last
the last to leave you defeated, cowering in your mother’s arms
and that prospect is terrifying
I can see it in your red rimmed eyes
but believe me, the way your gut wrenches
and the way you grimace when his name is said
Will be worth trudging through
Even if misery bears down on you 
cementing you in a brutal reality
for a while 

Because one day
when wedding bells have been replaced with the microwave’s ping
and the passionate romance has faded to a comforting love
when your mortgage is simple
and you're grateful for your routine
When the infant becomes a cackling eight year old
and all too soon
a sobbing woman of eighteen
and me and your father: a memory

The cracked photo frame that is your blessed family
and the love you’ll find in one person
maybe a whole ten years from now
maybe longer
will be worth the hours of unrequited love
Broken promises
Forgotten plans
cold goodbyes
cliched endings 
and the ever present painful first love

Believe me

and promise me also
that you’ll tell your sobbing eighteen year old 
the same

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