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Posts Tagged ‘understanding’

Next Chapter

 

 

 

Mom, she says, Stop crying.

She’s embarrassed for me.

 

I can’t stop. After three hours

of snuggling on the green couch,

 

we are nearing the end of our book,

where the silverback gorilla

 

and the baby elephant say goodbye

to the girl who has helped them

 

leave their cages. It is not

the farewell that makes me weep,

 

though that, too, but the way

that the girl and the gorilla

 

share a passion for art. It’s so good,

I say to my girl between sniffs,

 

it’s so rare and so good to find someone

who really understands you.

 

She looks at me as if she will never

comprehend how such a thing

 

could make someone cry.

My tears land on the end of the chapter,

 

leaving a wet trail I don’t

expect her to follow, not yet,

 

her small hand already

pushing on mine to turn the page.

 

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Mom, he says, his voice

an arrow of frustration,

you just don’t understand.

 

I know, I say, I don’t understand.

But that is not the kind

of understanding he wants.

 

Someday he will tell a therapist

how I mocked him. She will

make a note in his file

 

and say to him, I know,

I understand, and he will

nod, certain that she does.

 

 

 

 

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