Poetry month #29: Of human bondage

When I offered to write to a topic, this husband suggested this one and I laughed. He is reading the book titled thus, which I have not read but intend to one day. I told him it would take longer than the Transformers. He has been patient.

When she was younger, her parents said
If you follow our advice you’ll be sure to get ahead
Be a good girl, get your brother his milk
Brush your hair enough so that it feels like silk
Don’t let your looks go or get overweight,
Don’t give any more than kisses on the first date
Be sure to be gentle, be sure to be kind
If you start to get mad, get something else on your mind
Don’t be too loud; don’t take up too much space
Whatever you do don’t bring us any disgrace.

It’s 11 o’clock and her show is on,
She’d like to listen but she has to sing this song
She can’t remember when she learned the tune
But she knows her reward will be coming soon;
She takes a breath and holds the note
Sings it with feeling; sings it by rote
Sings it in a guilded cage overhanging the moat.
One day her prince will storm the gate
And it’s on that day that she’ll forget all her hate

When he was younger, his parents said
If you follow our advice you’ll be sure to get ahead
Be a strong boy, take your sister’s side
Don’t let anybody see you without wearing your pride
Don’t let your tears fall or them get under your skin
Don’t give them any reason to think that you’ve sinned
Be sure to stand out, be sure to take care of things
If you start to get upset, go and chase the brass ring
Go out and get started; run fast and win the race
Whatever you do don’t bring us any disgrace.

It’s 11 o’clock and his show is on,
He’d like to listen but he has to sing this song
He can’t remember when he learned the tune
But he knows his reward will be coming soon;
He takes a breath and holds the note
Sings it with feeling; sings it by rote
Sings it up on a horse with the flag that he totes
One day his princess will be glued to his side
And it’s on that day that he’ll forget that he cried.

When I was younger, my coven said
If you follow our advice you’ll be sure to get ahead
Be antagonistic; use the fears within
Take a knife and start by removing the skin
Don’t heed their rules or worry if you’re a bitch
Don’t forget you were always born to be a witch
Be sure to be cruel, be sure to strike the first blow
If you start to be kind, remember the wolves always go for the doe
Go out and cast spells; curse the human race
Whatever you do don’t bring us any disgrace.

It’s 11 o’clock and my show is on,
I’d like to listen but I have to sing this song
Even though I remember where I learned the tune;
It was after other hands had cast our runes;
I take a breath and hold the note
Sing it with feeling; sing it by rote
Sing it as I take up my role in the story that they wrote
It’s a matter of destiny that the witch will fail
And there’ll be a wedding at the end of the tale.

If there ever was another way through the woods,
Well we missed it ’cause we acted just as we should.

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About Jenn

Find me on Twitter @JennGruden
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