Controlled Comfort

Smothered so softly, slowly, and sad
in a seemingly gentle soothing devotion,
her home is a prison, a puddle an ocean
perfumed with jasmine, roses, and brine
constrained by his claims: “you are mine”
she stays and she lingers, while keys
to her prison are rules she adheres
embraced in his arms away from the trees
she seeks comfort, controlled by her fears
forever a daughter that stays with her dad.

A Girl reading a Letter, with an Old Man reading over her shoulder
Joseph Wright

Today we are having an Open Link Night at dVerse with me as a host. The first hour will be a live session. Please join us at 9 PM CET (3 PM EST).

September 15, 2022

17 responses to “Controlled Comfort

  1. The imagery of the poem can be attributed to so many different prisons – wrapped up by the closing lines. I like that it leads to a specific conclusion, after having us feel and guess.

  2. It was great hearing you read this tonight. At first I thought she’d married a man just like her father, but, as you said, the “twist” is that she’s never left her literal father! I know this happens, and it’s so sad. Even if not a physical incest — which in many cases it is — an emotional one.

  3. This is incredibly powerful writing, Bjorn! The poem addresses so much regarding comfort and control, there is a thin line that separates them, and the imagery here does an exquisite job portraying it. 💘💘

  4. This is beautiful and rhythmically lulling, like ocean waves:

    “in a seemingly gentle soothing devotion,
    her home is a prison, a puddle an ocean
    perfumed with jasmine, roses, and brine”

    This is about Ariel from The Little Mermaid. 🙂

  5. This poem does a great job of creating the visceral creepiness of the image. Your use of alliteration, sensual details, and the shape of the poem on the page all contribute to a feeling of physical confinement.

  6. So sorry I missed hearing you read this poem … I believed from the beginning you were speaking of a relative … in an ominous way. A childhood friend experienced abuse at a tender age, working thru it and finding forgiveness took decades, but she managed it.

  7. Written with your usual poetic flair, Björn. This one reminds me of Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” especially the garden scents.

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