Giving Me Advice
My in-laws come round twice a year,
to try to set me straight.
I tell them that it does appear,
they are a little late.
The guidance started early on,
browbeating by my father.
A long-drawn-out decathlon,
of why I should not bother.
He handed off to priests and nuns:
kneel down and fold your hands.
Then school yard bullies were the ones,
and sports team reprimands.
The rich and pure met me in college,
with each a life-long lore.
The pure told me to suck up knowledge.
The rich told me to score.
My dates and girlfriends seemed to act
to heighten my despair.
They told me what to do exact,
and when and how and where.
My life has been a tournament,
of kibitz from the sidelines,
with no chance to experiment,
without somebody’s guidelines.
Chauffeuring grandchild from day care,
the diapered protégée
suggested from her booster chair,
“I know a shorter way.”