amebas and other things

Amebas, Cooper says, move

by changing the shape of their body, while

a jaded seriousness plays camouflage with

his black, thick-framed glasses – he’s only seven.

He makes me worry, when he looks so serious,

he makes me worry because I’m a woman and that’s

what we do (all the time), so I worry he might grow up too

fast, out of the dinosaur pj’s and into the wrinkled look on his face.

I worry he might find out Santa does not really

exist, just like that far away land (where gramps

hurts and dreams – wishing he had taken him to that

baseball game that day instead of watching TV, a last game)

I worry he might see that it is not always

death that does part the lovers, but that when he

does part anything, he (a hungry mad-eyed wolf) savors

its prey and there is no peace, no redemption.

I worry he might learn too soon that

people do not always keep their promises

but just cross their heart and then die

without peace, without redemption

not because they are bad people but because

good people do bad things just like bad people do bad things,

the secret (the noise late at night under your bed and in your closet) is

that bad things slip out of people’s hearts each time the clock strikes twelve.

Adults, they keep black, black and pasty secrets in

their pockets (they all do) instead of lollipops and gum and marbles

when they have grown out of their dinosaur pj’s and

into the darkness that hides within dusk and dawn.

But most of all, I worry he might not find out. He

coughs until his face turns nightblue and constellations fall out of his eyes.

Tell me more, Coop, I say, please don’t stop.

Please don’t stop.

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2 responses

  1. This is so sad… I think perhaps it should be prose, but I can’t really explain it. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just too much for a fragile poem, maybe it needs the strength of prose. Don’t know if that makes any sense. I like it though. (As you know I like sad things.)

    1. Somehow, it did neither really feel like prose when I wrote it – maybe it ought to be something in between. Whatever that means. But I just might take a second turn here and see what becomes of it.

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