i can, i will, because i must


he wears tough like
a too big halloween costume
sleeves dangling long past his hands
giggles ever at the ready behind the
grimace mask ill fitting
beneath his nose
sometimes, i’m tough

in tears he cries out unfair how could you
why are you so mean often tumbling
over his too big feet to land in a splatter
on the floor outside the cafeteria when
no one comes to hand him a tissue he
screams louder at the inequality of kindness
and wonders between snorts how is
compassion measured
sometimes, i’m soft

obsessed he repeats the lyrics to
a banished song over and over
again and again in various voices
all loud and unreasonable committed
he can repeat this made up mantra for
hours and hours creating crescendos
fit to drive job mad only to quietly soften
his tone and appease his tortured audience’s
demands stop please dear god stop
sometimes, i’m silly

the hardest part is holding
the space for that fluid an
expression, especially when
the he is both black and male

parenting is a tight rope
a fine line between two worlds
one inherited the other envisioned

you hold one end taunt
offering instruction, praying safe
travels, wondering who is holding
the other end

its not your journey
you are witness
a mere spectator in a lifespan
not your own

offering guidance for courses
unknown you do what you
must even through you know it’s

not enough


4 Comments Add yours

  1. heyannis says:

    Fabulous portrait. “He wears tough …” I love it. Love all the facets. Thank you. xoA

    1. Writing after a long silence is like waking from an overextended hibernation.

  2. zenofjenni says:

    Love this. Such truth – unknown you do what you
    must even through you know it’s
    not enough

    1. Thank you for reading.

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