One Slice of Bread – A Poem

Uncle, why only one slice of white bread?

Something is happening, what is it I dread?

Oh dear, don’t worry, it will all be just fine.

Just do as you’re told and toe the line.

But Uncle I see others have food on their plate.

And yours, above all, looks deliciously great.

Look, I need more sustenance than you.

Do you realize all the work that I do?

Now go to bed and do as you’re told.

Nothing will come from you being bold.

Uncle, what do those letters say?

I need to read if I am to stay.

Who says you’re staying, impertinent imp!

School is expensive, we just have to scrimp.

But Uncle I am working hard, too.

I pay for my clothes and give my extra to you.

Of course you do, that’s the only way.

How else can we live if you don’t slave away?

Now go to bed. That is not a choice.

I’m starting to get really annoyed at your voice.

Uncle, it just doesn’t seem fair.

I put in my time. You know that I care.

But it seems that I am the only one

These austerity measures will make me undone

Well, if that happens, it’s your own fault!

You’re not strong enough, clearly not worth your salt.

It’s because of you that we need these measures today

Always wanting to help others who have lost their way.

But Uncle, that was the right thing to do!

Shouldn’t we share with those who have few?

We have so much, but you’re saying we don’t.

Yet you still seem to be able to buy all you want.

Those are things that are my due.

I deserve more things than you.

Look at me! Why can’t you agree?

All you want are things for free.

And that’s why these cuts are your burden to bear.

Being in the middle, you should be aware.

Now go to bed, let these issues unfold.

Just be glad only a few things need sold.

Oh Uncle, why did you sell your soul?

For personal wealth, was that your goal?

I came to you with stars in my eyes.

I thought you were strong and honest and wise.

Together, we could have done so well!

But now I fear we will both go to hell.

Uncle Sam you ask so much of me.

I have so much less, yet you ask for more austerity.

What about healthcare, a decent wage and fair representation?

Or respect for my genders or religious affiliation?

On my back, you’ve created this fantasy,

And now you still just want to grab my pussy?

I’ve had enough. I won’t go to bed.

I deserve much more than one slice of bread.

This was a difficult poem to write for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday prompt of “austerity measures”. She writes “The phrase “austerity measure” isn’t used as much now as it was when I wrote this poem, but that injustice by other name or unnamed is still an injustice and it’s one that is happening all over the world.

I had never heard that term before reading Jamie’s poem. I had always associated austerity with something that saints did, something positive, like sacrificing or doing without for the greater good. The term “austerity measures” is actually a financial term to denote an action by government to decrease its debt by increasing taxes while cutting spending on wages and programs (usually for the poor). So it’s something government imposes on its populace with those who are most in need, shouldering the burden of these measures. I will add that the financial definition does note that the tax cuts should be for the wealthy, however, I have a “feeling” that those cuts would depend on who is in government.

Families also implement austerity measures. I know my family did – growing up and being immigrants here, however, I know my parents took the brunt of those measures and did without, so that us children would not need to know that we were financially struggling. Of course, as kids, we still knew that other people had more than we did, but it wasn’t a hardship, just what our family did to live within our means.

Money has so many different meanings for different people. Our attitudes towards money, saving/spending are shaped by our upbringing and experiences. I wonder if austerity measures would be less of an injustice if it wasn’t imposed, if we all agreed to tighten our belts a little for the good of all. Whether a family, a company or a country – could there be compassion in financial matters?

©️ iido 2018

Contemplating Motherhood – An Etheree




By wipes, diapers

And cute, little clothes

I wonder if you thought

About this very moment

Contemplated this, what it means

To be full of life that will think you’re God

Dependent, trusting, loving and all yours.

This etheree honors my very pregnant niece and also responds to Patrick Jennings Pic and a Word #160 – Contemplation. Motherhood was something that I never thought of growing up. I wasn’t the type to play with baby dolls and I probably wasn’t the most nurturing big sister. When other girls would comb each other’s hair and play pretend family, I was off having adventures in my head – reading or writing about living in foreign countries doing extraordinary things.

My life is far from extraordinary yet I wouldn’t say it is less full – just full of laundry and laughter, cooking and cuddles. Having children changes you and I’m glad I didn’t think too hard about that before having them. If I did, I wonder if I would have had them at all.

©️ iido 2018

Winking – A Quadrille Acrostic Poem

While I laughed my best fake laugh

Instead of joining in the conversation

Nestling your hand in mine

Knowing I was only there because of you

I saw your eyes widen then flicker

Noticing the beauty across the table

Giving your best singular smile

This there such a thing a Quadrille Acrostic Poem? Well, there is now! De Jackson (aka WhimsyGizmo) at dVerse Poets requested a Quadrille (a poem with exactly 44 words) using the word “wink”. I used “winking” as the acrostic word – hope that counts!

This poem continues the theme of relationships that seems to be prominent on my blog this week. I wonder what the universe is trying to tell me?

Marriage Bound – A Cascade Poem

We signed this paper

We are legally bound

The hard work begins

We climbed the steps and waited in line

On our lunch hour

We signed this paper

That night we fought

You slept on the couch

We are legally bound

Morning came

You made me coffee

The hard work begins

Another cascade poem about a relationship, this one responding to Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday prompt to write about weddings or marriage. She states, “As with all human institutions and traditions, weddings and marriages can be very mixed things.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this. Weddings are often fraught with family drama – it’s like all major holiday dinners with two entire families who are staying in one small house all rolled into one day.

After the wedding, marriage itself is a mixed bag of highs and lows. Some couples do call it quits when the lows seem too much but for other couples, those marriage vows, that piece of paper, is permanently binding. Barring any type of abuse, these couples put in the hard work to maintain their commitment.

Relationships are mentally, emotionally and physically demanding. Sometimes love is enough to get us through. Sometimes we need a little more – from our partner, family, friends, from ourselves. But in the end, we all still hope to say, “It was worth it.”

©️ iido 2018

The Laughing Mermaid – A Cascade Poem

He fused her legs into a tail

Isolating her to control her

She had the last laugh

She thought she could change him

But he kicked that notion out of her head

He fused her legs into a tail

She fought at first then realized

He had changed her mind to match her body

Isolating her to control her

With her last pearl of breath, she took his

Hardening her skin and heart and resolve

She had the last laugh

The picture above was the prompt from Hélène Vaillant’s “What do you see?” Challenge. I don’t know where the photo was taken (Hélène mentioned in the comments that was looking into that) but it does bring to mind the Hans Christian Andersen story of “The Little Mermaid”. Unlike the Disney version, the original telling does not have a happy ending.

I’ve never liked this story since it is all about the Little Mermaid changing herself and sacrificing herself for a prince who doesn’t even “see the real her”. My feminist heart bristles at that implication since it sets the stage for so many of the negative and/or unrealistic messages that women get about what it means to be in a relationship. What would be a better narrative, a better fairy tale, about relationships?

©️ iido 2018

Estuary Reflections – A Haibun

Morning brought bright blue skies mirroring estuary waters. The brackish mingling of salt and freshwater flavored the air. On one side, sand and rocks provide an anchor for tall grasses and brave trees. On the other, a cloud white sailboat glided smoothly over the waves, contrasting the rugged terrain. In the middle, seagulls and turkey vultures discussed the day’s menu.

Estuary brings

A mix of contradictions

Reflecting my life

I chaperoned my daughter’s overnight trip to a science adventure camp with her school this week. It was a beautiful setting on the Chesapeake Bay to learn about ecology and foster character building. The terrain was rough and rugged along the shoreline, my inspiration for Pic and a Word #159. While I didn’t capture images along the shoreline, these images from one of the overlook points were still quite picturesque!

This is post is also my first Haibun! There was a prompt on Monday from dVerse Poets that I wasn’t able to do but I wanted to try this poetry form. A haibun is simply a short work of objective prose followed by a haiku and was popularized by the 17th century Japanese poet, Matsuo Bashō. I quite like the “commentary” of the prose and the haiku is like the punctuation to drive the sentiment home. What do you think of this first try?

©️ iido 2018

What’s Your Problem? – A Reverse Nonet

I am right when I say this is true

The problem of our country is

I know better than you do

There is only one way

So do what I say

No more listening

Only shouting

And shooting

So what?




Ears, hearts, minds

Not right or wrong

Better together

No need for big egos

Let’s make room for ideas

Before the sounds of bombs deafen

And we are left, right, alone, deadened

It’s been a busy week in our household but I really wanted to respond to this Tuesday prompt from the Go Dog Go Cafe. Their query: What is the biggest problem facing the country right now? If you could only change one thing, what would it be? Consider if this problem can even truly be “changed”, or if it is something steeped in our culture.

I don’t know if this is the “biggest problem” but it’s definitely one of them – the inability to listen, the lack of empathy, the self-centeredness. Turning on the news, it seems people are just yelling opinions at each other, attacking the other person instead of having a serious debate about issues using facts to back up statements. The art of conversation, debate, is gone. The value of connection and relationship is gone. My fear is if we continue down this path, towards isolation, we – the collective American We – we too, will be gone.

©️ iido 2018