Complex Lessons


I studied her,
from the safety
of the stairs – at just
the right point
where I could watch
but not be seen –
my gaze
hidden by the banister…
I learned about life.

From my perch
I could see her
busy herself,
cleaning the home
of her family –
lovingly, yet rapidly
she worked
to complete her tasks…

Other times I witnessed
her inner strength
amidst crises of all sizes –
misplaced papers,
or times when lives hung
in the balance –
her words comforted
loved ones; her prayers,
eloquent; perfect…

My lessons about birds
and bees
came through
the banister rails as well,
I caught glimpses
of a painted coral fingertip
curling seductively,
the swivel of hips,
a wordless call
to her lover…

Some people  say
I developed a complex –
I believe I learned
the best lessons in life;
I fell in love with my mother
which helped me find
my soulmate, my wife.

P. Wanken

Written for Poetic Bloomings prompt to write a “love” poem; and The Sunday Whirl prompt to use these twelve words: bees, balance, cleaning, coral, finger, eloquent, motionless, point, rapidly, safety, strength, swivel.


  1. A beautiful poem.
    I remember as a child sitting on the stairs watching the world of the adults through the bannister rails.
    A great read – thanks.


  2. I can always always identify when a poem was written based on a prompt that had a list of words. The more words on the list, the easier it is to tell. But it didn’t even cross my mind on this one until I got to the bottom and saw them. Really well done!


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