An unhappy childhood
creates the need to achieve
something, some award or medal
but it doesn’t teach you how
to create the achievement you need.
How to hold a brush, write a pantoum.
It doesn’t teach you how
to drive a truck or remove a tumour.
How to hold a brush, write a pantoum
comes by forgetting what made you seethe.
To drive a truck or remove a tumour
you must change gears, sharpen the scalpel
of your rage, forgive your kin.
An unhappy childhood was not their goal.
That you learn what lies beyond blame
is the thing, the award, the medal.
Janet Vickers is the BC/Yukon Rep for the League of Canadian Poets National Council. This poem appears in her new book of poems, Impermanence, published by Ekstasis 2012. Janet currently lives on Gabriola Island, BC.