• Grant Handgis

Grant Handgis ~ Author/Poet

from "Journey From The Child"

Social Atonement

The shiny environs

of any Mall

are cluttered

with hopeful girls

gathered into social knots

far tighter than weathered

sheepshanks of hemp,

guarding their cloistered flanks

with furtive glances,

beyond the watchful eyes

of merchants

and the prying looks

from outsiders

Young girls

finding their steady legs

of womanhood

are fashioned outside

a mother's admonitions

on looking cheap

or easy, so

the smoothly waxed legs

and alluring charms

are fair game

for the roving eyes

of hungry young men

Old Psalms

and jagged mythic lies

flirt with wanton cravings

for something sweeter

than mom's apple pie

and satisfying a sweet-tooth

goes deeper than an empty belly

with the hunger reaching

all the way down

to the tightened blue jeans

of strained love

where decisions are

weighed, and strategies


Mother words

father threats

hymnal songs

social blinders

and ancient rites of passage

clash like drawn swords

of quarreling ancient warriors

whose only course avenges

some maiden's name

and honor, but alters

no path of chosen endeavor

Cloistered within

the artifice

of giggling maidens

lies a natural trap,

where fluttering hearts

and coaxed laughter

are bait, wafting

through the air, and

coursing through

a young boy's mind

like hot blood, pumping

through the veins of

a hungry panther

As parents, we watch our offspring make their way into the world, one step at a time. There are steps in this process which are most unnerving for parents, especially fathers when it comes to their “little girls”. I taught my daughter to be fiercely independent, and to question authority, even mine, as long as it was done with aplomb and parental respect. I watched her grow through puppy love and infatuations as all girls do, then begin the feared process of dating. Dads are not just sometimes overly protective, but insanely jealous at times. The father motto generally being; that’s my little girl and if you put your hands on her I break your skull.

Keeping young girls from ‘ruin’, is not futile. It is based upon giving daughters the right tools to handle situations they encounter, with intelligence and self-respect. That was my motto anyway. This poem reflects the thinking behind a father’s deepest seated fears.


g. Michael Handgis Photography


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