The first stanza is actually how we celebrate birthdays in my family, so that was a fun one to read, then the juxtaposition of the second stanza brought on a whirlwind of emotions. Gave the piece an entirely different meaning.
Hi Adreamer, thanks for your comment. This short poem was inspired by a client and her experience growing up with an abusive father.
Edit: I should’ve elaborated further. This client’s experience was that on mornings she woke up to the smell of pancakes, she knew her dad was in a good mood and there would be no abuse. It was like a normal, happy home on those days (like the one you described) and that’s the image I wanted to create before the last line “hitting” out of nowhere, just like he would hit her out of nowhere on bad days. Your comment assured me that my poem read the way I wanted it to be read <3
Woah. I can't believe I missed this piece, and to read that it was inspired by a client reminds us that this is reality for this person. As others have said, a whirlwind of emotions is accurate. You've packed so much in a few lines that my heart aches because I, on some level, have known this fear. My heart used to race, looking for those signs that it would be at least an "okay" day, that nothing would trigger his anger.
Powerful and something that sticks with the reader.
Heart-wrenching. I imagined a woman waking up to see her partner making breakfast for her and showering her with love and affection, but she knows he'll turn the tiniest misunderstanding into an angry, abusive argument. But knowing you well enough I think my interpretation is totally wrong. Loved this.