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you are not there

We are taking the little one for a ride on her new sled. It is bright orange, with a fuzzy black and white seat cover to keep her extra warm. Her tiny hands in tiny gloves hold the sides as tight as she can. I pull her down a path, shouting "woohooo" and then she replies "woohoo". N's turn is next, pulling her more schoolgirl than mother for a few minutes. There are other parents with children on sleds passing us. Their eyes straight forward, faces completely blank they slip by in silence. I flash a smile to them, and they do not even look at me. I am not there, just another tree leaning towards the stream that runs below.

There are ducks still, flapping around the brackish water and we throw pieces of stale bread to them. I start to think, not about the complete absence of smiles in this culture. I stopped asking about that long ago, told over and again that smiles are reserved for home, behind closed doors. But I wonder, for the children -  these wiggling bu…

black on black

I cannot say very much
about the black on black
the bloody days and
nights
the tense moments making life
count while I wait
for the police to come
but they never do
just a trick to
scare me
but I am not scared.
I will spend my last moments of
freedom with that
little girl who eats peanut butter
with a spoon right
from the jar
every time the police are
supposed to
bust in.

I will walk in the cold air
and buy
raisin pastries
for her, every morning
no matter what.
I am her father, no matter
where I sleep.

I will listen to Beatles songs
and think the
black on black
cannot be more
dark
than this.
That the snow did come quickly
and yes, we made miniature
snowmen and
snow women together before
she got cold and we went inside
for soup and
cartoons.


Comments

brenda said…
For what it's worth, I'm right there with you, M. Try and write your way out of the dark. It helps. I swear, it does...

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