Max Reif

Rookie - 18 Points (1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

Autobiographical Fairy Tale - Poem by Max Reif

He wears a suit,
she wears a dress.
He goes to work.
You know the rest:

She cooks and cleans.
The children play.
This is the family,
by day.

The food smells good.
At night sometimes,
a cradle rocks,
a bright moon shines:

But some nights—
when, you never know—
Mom and Dad
just up and go.

Two giant Ogres
take their place,
anger etched
on each one's face.

Medusa and
the Clown King come
(she's the real boss,
he's too dumb) .

Live snakes writhe
in Medusa's hair,
Her face is grey;
no blood flows there.

The Clown King
wears a golden crown,
but when he jokes
you feel put down.

If you could laugh,
then you might see
he has no real

With parents gone,
the children fight—
they ask for guidance
through the night.

This king cannot
allay their fears—
tells one more joke
and disappears.

Mom and dad return,
put on dinner and TV.
Family life resumes,
the children lose all memory.

Comments about Autobiographical Fairy Tale by Max Reif

  • Linda Hepner (10/30/2005 2:21:00 PM)

    Childhood is full of suppressed fears, parents suddenly transformed into monsters, but as you write in your last line, it's all 'forgotten'. Until you grow up and write a poem about it. Which reaches all of us. Thank you.
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  • (10/22/2005 1:25:00 PM)

    rough childhood and parents have the illusion that if they stay together is better for the kids..
    (Report) Reply

  • john tiong chunghoo (10/22/2005 1:43:00 AM)

    dear max,
    the ending kills the poem. sorry have to be frank.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/20/2005 5:18:00 PM)

    These are powerful sentiments, Max. For some reason, your poem reminds me of the Beatles' song, 'She's Leaving Home' - a serious theme conveyed in a plainspoken, straightforward way. (Report) Reply

  • (10/20/2005 2:53:00 PM)

    Alice Miller FOR THEIR OWN GOOD is a fabulous book regarding the current parenting paradigm. I work with adults who grew up in these homes....the poem with its use of 'mythic' tropes....some kids may get it....some won't...most adults who 'know' will definitely get it. Nice job. (Report) Reply

  • (10/20/2005 2:21:00 PM)

    Hey, Max, I think the kids got fed up and ran away from home (read my 'crooked fairy tale') ! I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry at this, but that's what makes it so real, isn't it? (Report) Reply

  • (10/20/2005 2:19:00 PM)

    I think many have this sort of life but never say anything about it. It brought up memories of a friend of mine who did live in that kind of situation but she found a way out. It is a very good poem Max. (Report) Reply

  • (10/20/2005 1:56:00 PM)

    I think this poem will describe 'home' for many. It brings many feelings from childhood up for I think this is very common so you've hit the nail on the head for many. I don't think there is such thing as 'too honest'. Great poem. (and I LOVE the quick rhyming almost gives it a sense of a witty sarcastic conversation) Sincerely, Mary (Report) Reply

  • Alice Vedral Rivera (10/20/2005 1:14:00 PM)

    I liked the first one but the revision is definitely much better. This poem hits uncomfortably close to home for me - it reminds me of parts of my first marriage.

    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, October 20, 2005

Poem Edited: Friday, October 21, 2005

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