Sunday, July 17, 2011

Talking to Strangers

I didn’t want to scare you
But you keep begging me to let you ride your bike by yourself around the neighborhood
“I hate you, Mommy, why do you have to be such a safe mom?”
So I thought it was time (though not realizing it was time for one of childhood’s many deaths)
And I told you about the little boy who got lost in New York and was stolen and killed
I didn’t say chopped up I didn’t say tortured, murdered, who-knows-what
But you paused and looked at me
And I knew I had ended something for you
Some state of innocence and trust
Different from “Don’t talk to strangers” and “Some people aren’t nice “
You tried to hit me and you wept and I knew the anger wasn’t only at me
But at the horrors of the world and its monsters
(The ones I can’t stop writing about)
And the tears were for that little boy
With his long locks and somber black clothes
His tiny bespectacled face
Sweet and wise
And so, so beloved
You cried just as I had when I read it a few nights ago
(But I had no one to lash out at, no one I loved to blame)
You were crying for him too
And for you
And for the unattainable wide open streets lined with endless trees, the cool breeze drying up the salt sweat on your brow
Legs growing muscle as you pedal though space
Unfettered and unharmed and loved enough to be set free

Tuesday, July 5, 2011