Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Flying Monkeys

Somehow fragile
these last many days
waking up dark and without joy
no reason
keeping my eyes averted
trying to follow the flow
get their breakfast
make the lunches
brush their hair
make my coffee

trying to send them off
without infecting them
unleashing this darkness
making them pay
for this dark lizard zipping past my reach

rode to school with them
yelled fuck to ruby
a word she hadn't heard
because she rode circles
in the middle of the street
with the cars coming
screamed "move it!"
to zoe
who was crying
because ruby had gone first
because she always goes first
because it's not fair
to be the little one

"what's wrong?"
a couple of mothers at school asked
for my eyes and the grief
any second now
could split

I started to answer
something for real
but a million distractions
a kindergartner grabbing a mother's hand
someone tapping someone on the back
me standing there in my grief
for everything
for not hearing back
from publishers
some friends
for really knowing that my drinking
is a problem
for the fear of having to stop
for my judgments and doubts
the tension and the stress
for feeling like I work so hard for nothing

Rode home and unleashed it all
on the phone
to poor Cheryl Johnson
who is charge of the gift wrap sale
spit words into her machine like
about the gift wrap
and how they want us parents
to give them the names of all our friends
so they can send them bullshit in the mail
wasted paper, dead trees
send them names of all our friends
so my children can get 8 free gifts
including a flying monkey

and this wouldn't be so hard
except the sales guy stood there
at last weeks' assembly
demonstrating how the monkey flies
and the kids yelled and cheered
"20 names"! the man screamed
"Get your parents to give us the names!"


But it wasn't Cheryl's fault
and so I called her back to apologize
Fragile, I said, just fragile.

1 comment:

brainhell said...

I will smash that monkey to bits with my own foot if ever I see it.