In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

A Child Grows Weary

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A child grows weary and crooked in her 

furrowed family’s embrace.

Unhappiness long etched lines in their faces,

Trace gashes from daggers honed by meaningless jobs, 

Repetitive steps, thoughts and temple-rubbing or hair

Pulling to fill gas tanks and pantries,

Emptiness in the earning, gathering, and slipping

Through grated fingers, past throbbing hearts’ content, 

Devalued and alone, lost in dreams of stopping, 

Just ceasing: road-miles, emails, phone calls, pulling here

Pushing now over there, back there again, counting up, down,

Eager for a weekend collapsed– to create a moment, 

Build a tower, topple a sand castle, and rub sea granules

through the sensitive skin dipped between outspread toes.

A child might misunderstand her father’s misery, her

Mother’s edges on especially rough days. 

A child might suffer, sliced and bled,

Her joy punctured by worry, burden and weighty 

Unbelievably unknowable interminably slow sinking

Beyond her breath-leaking life raft.

 
Photo: Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother

2 thoughts on “A Child Grows Weary

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