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2014-01-31T23:26:32-05:00January 31st, 2014|Parenthood|

My why muscle

I remember parents saying
all the whys
will drive you mad

but it’s not the frequency
of the demand
or the upturned pitch

it’s the humility
of how rarely
I have the answer
and the absence
of my wonder at all

like today
when you asked me
why you can’t smile
in a passport photo
I was struck by the fatigue
of my own obedience
my why muscle all dusty and limp

so while we waited for your turn
to have your passport photo taken
and I looked over to see you
grinning defiantly
not understanding
that you’re allowed to smile
in the camera store
just not when the photo is taken

I should have whispered
a reminder about the serious face
we had practiced in the car
but I didn’t say anything
out of a gust of respect
for the way you stood in line
a happy warrior
still full of spirit
for protest.

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