NaPoWriMo Day 15 – Papa, are you listening!

Today’s prompt comes to us from Juan Martinez. It asks you to think about a small habit you picked up from one of your parents, and then to write a piece that explores an early memory of your parent engaged in that habit, before shifting into writing about yourself engaging in the same habit.


I spoke to my husband and my girls and realized I have quite a few habits that I’d picked from my dad. Decided to share the least dangerous one here.

Papa, are you listening?

“Papa did you hear a word I said?” I ask, my brows shooting up

and he looks up from what he’s reading,

his eyes twinkling, his lips curved upward in a smile,

and I get my answer.

“Papa you weren’t listening,” I say, bringing him to brook.

Says who?” he responds, “You were saying-“

I know how it works- he repeats a few words

and then goes back to his reading

“Papa, please focus,” I plead. “I’m talking to you.”

Go on, I’m listening. Did I not tell you what you said?

I start talking watching him closely.

He listens for thirty seconds, not more

and I lose him again

Seriously, can you listen to what I’m saying?” I hear my daughter say

“I am! Tell me,” I answer, looking her in the eye

My mind’s on alert and my ears wide open

I’m listening, I’m listening and then I’m not

my mind’s far away and I’ve missed a line or two

You’re not listening Mamma,” she says, her hands folded across her chest

“Ask me and I’ll tell you all that you said,” I say defiantly

Fine! Tell me,” she says throwing me the bait.

With confidence galore

I spill the words that I’ve heard-

a line here, a line there, I’ve got the gist more or less.

“Well. I told you I was listening,” I say with a victorious smile

Now what do you have to say?”

“You’ve got selective hearing, Mamma.

Just like Nana*!” she replies and walks off in a huff.

*Nana- grandfather

Copyright@smithavishwanathsblog.com. All Rights Reserved.

NaPoWriMo

18 comments

    1. It’s such a terrible habit, don’t you think.
      I seem to have picked up so many quirks and I happen to be displaying them at half dad’s age🙂. God help those who have to deal with it.
      Thanks Andrea for reading. It’s always good to read your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this poem, Smitha. I do this exact same thing, but its more a case of my boys start talking and I am doing something else. It takes me a few moments to refocus from what I was doing to them and I get a flood of protest. Have a wonderful Friday. It’s so nice to see all these great poems from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 it’s good to know I have company in this crime. So glad you loved the poem. You too have a wonderful weekend and thank you for reading the poems. Thanks to NaPoWriMo I started writing again. And it’s keeping me occupied during the lockdown.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved reading it Smitha. I can see myself picking up a lot of habits (also read as quirks) from my parents as I get older. There are times when I kinda feel even more connected to them through those habits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Deepa for reading the poem. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I totally get what you’re saying…about the ‘quirks.’ I was careful not to put those here. I thought it may be too much even for my friends to digest it especially when I seem to be doing it at half my dad’s age 😀. But you’re so right, they make me feel ‘connected’.

      Like

  3. This is good.
    I maintain that it is prose broken up into irregular lines rather than poetry…
    but great writing and I am convicted of having done the same thing as your papa and you when others are speaking to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Chado for visiting.
      I agree on it being ‘prose broken up.’ Well, the lines around poetry are so blurred these days that it’s so easy to cross them and not really know when you have. But thank you for appreciating the writing. It feels good.
      Lol…Its nice to know you’re guilty of this too though I aim everyday to work on it. May today be that day.

      Like

    1. Yes, I feel happy when anybody tells me I’m like him even if it means picking up a few quirks :). Thank you Dishita for visiting, reading the poem and writing back. (Heart to you too- can’t find the emoji on my laptop 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

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