Care & Feeding: A Parenting Sonnet
It’s hard to love a teenager, spider-spread
of long legs and arms that push away then snare,
entrapping cash and provisions in their web—
you, poor parent, a disposable concierge.
You try so hard to feather their little nest
which has become—let’s face it—a grimy sty.
Dark burrow for a wallowing, ravenous guest—
how much easier when all they did was chirp and cry.
Like yearling meerkats, bats, and stickleback fish,
hormones drive them to flirt with danger rather than flee.
As if poking the predator, gunning the gas is just impish:
Dude. Leave me alone. Ugh! Stop breathing on me.
But you’re a killer whale circling your young in the light,
sentenced by primal code to love your wild creature for life.
by Paige Gilchrist, first appeared in The Great Smokies Review
Editor’s Note: This sonnet’s imagery perfectly describes the web of love and frustration parenthood becomes during the teenage years.