2020-03-30T20:26:47-07:00January 6th, 2020|Parenthood|

The carnage of childhood

His class is doing goal setting
and I see him at his desk
still in his winter coat
like the effort
to write down his dreams
requires weatherproofing

I remind him that I love goal setting
which I know is not
the right thing to say

but like so often in parenting
the wrong thing
slips out

like a gun
at a duel

I know I should hug him
but I bring up Victor Frankl instead
and Bianca and that cheque
and vision boards
which I have never done
but always wanted to

my voice is panicky and fast
like I am trying to flee something
or catch it
or stop a flood

like if I don’t help him
set goals today
in grade four
his life will slowly sag
and we will both remember
the day I almost
saved him

he asks me
why I had to bring up
the Holocaust

and I stare at the cubbies
of muddy boots and mediocre art

the carnage of childhood

and I realize in that moment
that his path
will not be not a ladder
but a labyrinth

so I put my finger to my lips
not to silence him
but to start our secret
I love you
that we invented
for no purpose
at all.

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