the boy

She gazed at her baby with glowing eyes,
"He's a perfect boy. I hope he'll realize
How much he’s loved. Oh, how dear is he.
He’s the best-loved child there ever could be."

She watched him grow, this fine little boy,
His first smiles, first words, all bringing her joy.
She taught him pat-a-cake, and peek-a-boo.
Time and years went by, and my how he grew.

But prevailing winds changed, the way winds will,
And the weather for him definitely grew chill.
For there came the day, when he heard her shout,
"I told you do it now, you stupid lout.

I’ve warned you I want that room clean.
You're grounded! Tough, if you think I’m mean.
I'm sick of the way you won't do what I say,
And you better learn how to do it my way.

Someday you'll thank me, for this arduous task
Of raising you up. Is it too much to ask for
You to listen and for once get it right?
Are you so stupid you won't see the light?"

“Can't believe you did that, you ignorant child."
Lashed her sharp tongue, her eyes narrow and wild.
"You’re grounded again for it’s my duty
To teach you well! Now stop being moody.

Don't give me that look I see on your face.
You miserable boy, you better erase
That expression now or you really will be
Grounded so long you’ll never get free!"

The boy mostly shouted back, sometimes not,
Until one day it hit him, this wise little thought
Which grew in his head until it was large;
The realization that he was in charge

Of what he said and what he chose to do.
He came to see it was not even true
He was dumb and stupid. No, not a bit.
Her opinion of him mattered not a whit.

He stopped yelling back and said not a word.
She found herself stymied that she hadn’t heard
The bad words that used to fly in a rage
Part of the fights in which they’d engage.

It was totally different for her to see,
Him listen to her tirades and the way he
Would just nod his head and listen to her scream
Not venting anger these scenes used to bring!

She changed herself when he explained one day,
“I’ve decided to be mindful of what I say.
I’m the power in my life and it’s my call;
If I can’t say something nice…
I’ll say nothing at all.”