2014-01-19T22:27:32-08:00January 19th, 2014|Parenthood|

The slide

You sit at the top of the slide
like a dictator
too scared to go down
but not letting anyone else
go down either

the parents of the other kids
gather around
awkwardly watching me
exhaust my tricks

minutes pass
the line-up grows
the crowd gets bigger
and my mouth is still smiling
but my voice is not

you yell at me
with a wobbly face

you’re bad and I hate you
and I’m never going to play
with you again

I realize later
after you are asleep
that when I finally lost it
and bounded up
the climbing bars
with your baby sister
attached to my chest
and carried you down
screaming and whacking the air
like a tortured insect

I did it for them
those silent strangers
using words like consequences
hoping they would hear it
that I had kept my part
of some parenting pact
that they might file
this public crumbling
into a folder
of praise.

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