Troubled One

Where did the wonder go, I wonder, how

Did what they say become so powerful?

Where did you learn you were not perfect?

What stretch of the imagination makes

You believe you are fat? What voices speak

In that lovely adolescent head, what

Do they say that makes you hate your lovely

Self? No enemy is there I can fight,

No dragon for your protector to slay,

Only other little girls who torture

You with their own sickness, with their own grief,

With their own fear. Only you can fight them,

Only you can protect yourself from them,

Only you and the strength I failed to give

You somehow in my will to make all right.

It is the poison in my person, my

DNA I unwitting gave to you

That makes you learn to love yourself only

By the most difficult path. I would have

Spared you this were it given me to spare.

Know then that this, too, shall pass, little one.

May happier times begin and sad times be done.

If it is any comfort, and I know

That it is not, I would not trade my own

Hell-on-earth childhood for another one,

For without it I would not be who I am,

And you would not be who you are, and you

Are absolutely, positively perfect. 

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Comments 21 comments

k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

Tom, I am crying, this is so perfect! I will show it to my daughter and son! "and you Are absolutely, positively perfect". It doesn't get any better than that! :D


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

You know something, it makes me cry, too. Thanks, K@ri


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Perfect, Tom. Magnificent.


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

And only a good father would know. Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart, Tom.


Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

A profound summing up of the soul.....great work Tom!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, my friends.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Lovely, says it all


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Well, this hit home. When I was eight all my friends were dancers and had dancer legs. I was a bike rider, and had bike rider legs. Powerful, but I saw them as fat. Where do these images come? No beauty mags in my life, it was all internal. Your talent/heart amaze me. Thank you!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

I am very touched... Beautiful words...to the young ones and to the all of us, because in everyone lives this little girl/boy who needed to hear exactly these words some time ago... ...You are great healer, Tom. 


Kushal Poddar profile image

Kushal Poddar 7 years ago from Kolkata,India

Words for self! Beautiful.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Gypsy.

Candie, I dont' know what to say. I had my hell, too. Maybe we all have to have it, in some way? Thank you.

Thank you, Tatjana. The stakes are high this time.

Thank you, Kushal. Your insight is like your poetry, swift and sure.


mayhmong profile image

mayhmong 7 years ago from North Carolina

Awww, I can't believe I understood this one in tears?! Feels like its words are directly at me. Love it!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, May. I think this plays to a lot of people. Everyone has an adolescence.


ralwus 7 years ago

beautiful expression from you soul Tom. thanks for sharing this. CC


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Geez I cry every time I read this. Thanks, Walrus.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

"Know then that this, too, shall pass, little one.

May happier times begin and sad times be done."

One of the hardest things about being a teen, for me, was realizing that this stage of life would not last forever. A teacher at college told a bunch of us, "In ten years, 90% of you WILL be married, and living the life you are now dreaming of." That was one of the most encouraging things I was told in those years!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Yes, time seems to pass so slowly at that age. Thanks, Ivorwen!


Paper Moon profile image

Paper Moon 7 years ago from In the clouds

Tell it how it is Tom Daddy!


Am I dead, yet? 7 years ago

Another brilliantly written piece work, Tom.


nazishnasim 7 years ago

Seems each part of it tells a story about each one of us over here - for some it's more than one part. That was so beautiful Tom. Your kids are very lucky to have you. Plus, it seemed that this poem came out of your heart in one go - didn't need any edits whatsoever.

*Hug*


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Paper, AIDY.

Thanks, Nazishnasim. Too late to do anything about my DNA, I guess.

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