Monday, July 11, 2016

Cycle On Crying

Parents gush stupidly
Over that first word
And, it only a random selection
Born from the unformed mind
Trying to figure out some weird mechanism
By trial and error
With no instructions

More joyous and more important though is that First Sound
From out of the darkness, blinded by new, ferocious light
Nose and throat sucked and cleaned
That intake of cold, burning air
Unused lungs working by instinct

And, then it happens
A primal scream if ever there was one
Saying I’m hungry, I’m scared, I’m angry, I’m cold
I’m alive

Cry and boyfriends will say, “Aw, baby, I’m sorry”
Cry and fathers will say, “Here you go, sweetheart”
Cry and you will be free from that ticket, that reprimand, that bad grade
Cry and someone else will do the heavy life lifting

Tears, better than any shield
They keep away
Hurt and pain
Criticism and judgment
Responsibility and independence

Cry and you won’t need a voice
Cry and determination will be a moot point
Cry and you can maim an enemy, destroy a life, get your way.

Who needs sugar and spice?

They whisper
Take mom home, she doesn’t need to see this
They coax
Do you want some lunch, we’re going down there anyway?

She says
Here is where I am
She gives no response to the offer of lunch

They ask
Who’s gonna stay with mom, she’s never been alone
They worry
What will happen to mom when dad finally –

She thinks
I will move on like I always have
Like I did through one child’s incarceration
Another’s infidelities
The drunkenness of my youngest
The insecurities of my oldest
The false piety of my fourth
This is one more thing
It’s not easy, but it’s here

They notice
The one lone tear moving strongly, smoothly down her cheek
They say
Mom, take this tissue, you’re crying

She says
Thank you and holds the tissue in her hand
She thinks
He would want to wear his gray flannel suit

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