Saturday, April 12, 2014

to train up a child

everything makes me feel someone's suffering.
this is the truth of myself for as long as 
i can remember:
the endless porous repeating knowing
of another's deepest pain.

in the bath i think of a little girl i read
her story in the news
one silent Sunday morning
her mother 
drowned her in a bath so hot
she could hardly hold her under.

i'm not asking if i need to think of this
or that horrible 'should'
if i could
have a choice 
i'm not even sure what i'd do

this is how i've been as long as 
i can remember:
my closet stays open 
so i don't remember all the children
who at the pulse of this hot now
are locked alone in closets.

also the babies left to cry-
i'm telling you,
the chorus of their weeping 
is a soundtrack in my life.
i  hear them above the calling of Saturday
morning birds,

i hear them begging to be held and loved
to be freed from fear.
fear of being alone
abandoned, hurt, etcetera, etcetera, ee
i think of all the mothers who 
put gates on the suburban doors

of their toddler's rooms-
toddlers, we agree, are babies with 
faster legs,
but still babies, the rounded belly
feet, hands, cheeks and foreheads,
the universal open eyes
the cellular expectation to be nourished.

we are animals, we work to forget
but i rarely do
forget we are animals
and animals are not created
to be born and put into a room
with a gate
and left alone in the dark for hours.

this to me is a fundamental truth
and i can't make friends 
saying it
but nevertheless-
these babies and children 
weeping, until

one mother said on Facebook
in a humorous post on the amazement
she feels
that toddlers will cry until they vomit
after being left in their locked rooms
to 'learn how to 

well yes
i guess we must learn how 
to sleep
and did you know
i heard that many adults in America
have insomnia and did you know
i heard
that many adults have insomnia
because they are afraid of the dark

well i suppose
this is a better incarnation-
metamorphosis of this memory-
than being afraid of the mother

well yes,
i might have mentioned to her
that i have cried until vomiting
from loneliness and despair, also

although i was lucky enough
to do so 
in front of locked doors
not behind them.

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