Underestimated (Inspired by Dystonia Victim)

He didn’t want to,
but the white suits,
ironed-down collars
with laminated name tags
said it was for his best,
and who were we;
two menial jobs
minimum waged,
a random diploma
an excerpt off a stereotype
made too hype,
to argue?

He was still Hot-wheels
and Crayola fingers;
a vacillating temper,
a dimpled smile,
a wet bed on some mornings
and on some nights
my shirt, a lullaby
and a gentle rock
was all it took;
and how could he possibly
know what’s best for him?

So we held him down,
pulled his legs straight,
had him face the lights
and whispered opioid-lies
to his pain
as we stifled ours.
“It’ll all be over soon,”
someone said as the med
shelled out of the syringe
and into the stems of his being.
His fragile body
was a lost battle,
and we hoped
this was the last war
to be fought.

He’s now five,
and still a dimpled smile
brimming with laughter.
He has no memories of that day
and yet we still ache
for forgiveness.
His frame becomes
more contorted daily,
his posture seemingly broken,
his limbs forever flexed
and still,
he smiles,
as if eyes
weren’t magnetized
to criticize him,
as if words
mumbled under breath
were futile,
as if his twisted contour
made him impregnable
to their despise,
he smiled,
as if he knew
what was best for him…


Aspirations to Adhere

It’s 5:27 am
and this draft
wants nothing more
than to drag itself slowly
tap my shoulder
and whisper lies these
lost satin sheets
tell a little more subtly.
My hand
slides across the bed, blindly
in search of your skin
to splice with mine
only to find you
already gone.

The alarm
sets itself singing
to the tunes of nuisance
for the fourth time.
As the snooze in me drains
my adrenaline spikes;
the rush
is on.

By the time I get downstairs
my hair’s haphazardly parted,
my tie’s in more knots than it should be,
you’re drinking the last cup of coffee
and our daughter’s eating
“What in the world is that?!?”
I tell her to put it down,
hustle to the fridge and apparently
shelves are the only thing
on the breakfast menu.

You make a clever remark,
it catches me off guard
and our offensive words
are fencing unmasked,
suddenly hasting towards
a mate to check
as we hurl them off our chests.
The kitchen
has reached its melting point;
and our love
is quickly evaporating,
‘til all that remains
is wisps of what we once were.

Remembering our child’s presence
we pause
and assume adulthood again.
She’s kneeling on the chair
and her arms, like tender stems
seem to sway effortlessly
as she busies herself
with a puzzle.
Seizing our silence
she stops to say:
“When I grow up,
I want to be glue.”
Perplexed, we begin to see
the image emerge ‘neath her palms.
“I want to be
what holds these pieces together
forever and ever.”
Placing the last piece down,
she looks up at us
and smiles.
It was our marriage photo,
torn and bent,
seemingly un-mendable.
Taking each of our thumbs
she said,
“I want to be
what makes mommy and daddy
one big puzzle again.”