Yesterday it occurred to me that if we don’t want our kids to do a certain thing then maybe we just shouldn’t do it. Like for example, if I don’t’ want my kid to eat vanilla ice cream then I just won’t eat the flipping vanila ice cream. I won’t sneak around eating it or go out to lunch with my friends and eat it or stay up late and call my dealer to get some and go out in the backyard and eat it. I just won’t eat the damn stuff. Why? Because vanilla ice cream is not as important to me as my kid. If I’m really honest with myself, if I really look down deep in the part of myself where the truth lies, the place where I keep stuff like my real weight, not the one I put on my driver’s license, then I have to admit that if I only eat vanilla ice cream when “my kid isn’t around” she is going to know anyway. And then she is going to think its ok and she is going to go ahead and do it too. And then when she eats so much she gets sick on it and crashes her because she can’t see straight from the sugar high, it will really be partly my responsibility for not stepping up and doing what I could.
Between the broccoli and the curry
comes the flash and disappearance.
Then the wondering, what’s next?
The screams, like a tsunami’s wail just out of sight.
The pain, better, when it comes, has bright hard dimensions
like a gutted swimming pool.
All I have to do is climb this side to that.
It’s not like the waiting, which is forever.
There are stains on the carpet and I can’t remember why.
It’s bothering me now and I don’t know about that either.
The stains are black but less black than other
things. Maybe that’s it.
You say he packed his suitcase and he won’t be back.
My brother and I huddle at the table and cry. Not because
he’ll stay away. He won’t.
Because we are supposed to do something but
we don’t know what.
Later I will try to write a poem. Many times and
I won’t because I love you.
But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.