"The Death of King Laius," unknown artist (National Gallieries Scotland)‘Open Heart Surgery’ by Steven Shaffer The Society September 6, 2018 Culture, Poetry 3 Comments The best day of your life; a child is born! Start out happy, but get ready to mourn. You’ll try to keep them from all of life’s danger, “Don’t eat that and don’t talk to a stranger.” You read them the same ridiculous book, Or play a game where you talk gobbledygook. You feed them, house them, replace clothes outgrown, Buy a Barbie, a car, and a new cell phone. You persevere through the years of ennui, Spend your savings on a college degree. And then comes the day when they will announce, Everything about you they must renounce. Your views are too weak, or maybe too strong, But “whatever” – you’re just totally wrong. You remember what you did all along, Your list of missteps is perhaps lifelong. You tried very hard, you know that you did, To do the best you could do for your kid. Yet, no one you’ll find who’s better skilled in, Ripping your heart out than your own children. Steven Shaffer’s other art form is computer code, which supports his poetry habit. He lives in a suburb of the middle of nowhere in central Pennsylvania with his wife and two dogs. His blog is My So-Called Civilization NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 3 Responses E. V. September 6, 2018 Oh, wow! I loved this poem. You spoke to so many (perhaps most?) parents. Thank you for sharing this. I want to forward it to my own kids. Reply Brigid Foley September 6, 2018 I loved your poem.. and as a mother myself i could really relate to it, well done. Reply Steve Shaffer September 10, 2018 Thanks, E.V. and Brigid! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.