Empathy

Focail do a Chara

As if blind,

I touch my fingers lightly to your face,

tracing every line, curve, and bump,

as if your temples can teach me your fears, hopes, and shattered dreams,

as if your closed eyes could speak of

disappointment, pain, and violence,

heartache and heartbreak.


My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter

walked over to that little girl and

smacked her across the face and

kneed her in the groin.

I mean,

where did she learn that?

Is it just my little girl’s not always an angel?

This is not the terrible twos.

There’s something else there.


Was it my fault?

I may not have been a perfect mother but I know I didn’t cause that.

I know.


Placement.

He has good days and bad days.

But you feel like your child should be home.

He should be able to have his room.

He’s going to be like,

“I want to hug my mommy.”

He’s my baby.

How are they going to know when he’s afraid of the dark

and has to have his bear?


Can we go there tonight?

How is his attitude today?

Is he going to flip out?

My son might punch her kid

and then she’ll never talk to me again.

Is this a good day to say,

“clean your room?”

Because some days

he’ll go in there and bust out all the windows

or put holes in the wall.


I have to think about

what I say to him,

what I say to the other kid,

how,

you know,

just


The perfect picture.

The good mother.

The good child.


This is not going to be the life you thought it was going to be.

Reprint the picture.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2017


Originally published at christinesdavisphd.blogspot.com on July 26, 2017.

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