Ghost Child

To be clear you are all grown up now and living somewhere as I try yet again to excise what you have done to us all from pictures of beautiful children.

You were

You are a dangerous male child

But what you will be

Is mountains told to throw themselves

Into the Sea.

Mark 11:22-23 NIV

[22] “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. [23] “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.

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Apophenia

I pull the elephant ears out of the water, one and then a handful and then none for awhile, risking dead fish and live snakes to find you. At dinner the little boy asks what miscarriage is and my answer is accurate but brief because why tell a little boy about lost siblings and the trees grown in their place or the way that forgetting is not better than carrying this

This memory of you dark, indelible angel, in the midst of all I hold dear.

Beanie Weather

The young fella folding library mailers eyes the old ladies as they cross the light-filled atrium. They are an exclamation point and a question mark traveling at processional speeds, arms entwined for mutual ballast. I take my own child’s arm, tell her that if we play our cards right one day they will be us, we will be them…while the young fella wears a reddish “cadet” tee and a off-grey beanie in the late days of May in the heart of Texas–bit warm for beanies, she says.

Better to catch the eye of all the pretty girls, I tell her on the way home.

Traveling Fast on a Spinning Planet

So young to be caught in a prisoner’s dilemma they give me vaguely concocted descriptions of a car we all know is fiction to cover for what we all know is true.

Take note of how young they are, intrinsically lovable despite their wanton ways. Can I will them to safety, to slow down for all of us–still alive, for now

Give the young bullet-fast toys; hope they survive

Hope we all survive while the 911 dispatcher asks–“yes, but what is your emergency ?”

Wanna quote Flannery O’–the life you save may be your own.

Time Stamped Somewhere

Years ago. We were fans of AR from close to the beginning. Back then fans bought the DVDs, which included extras.

In one candid sitting-in-the-stair-car moment you tell Michael Cera that you wanted a b.j.—a reference to oral sex–when Michael was a minor and the comment was in no way appropriate.

Your NYT interview rings amiss if we confuse your various on-screen personae with “the real you.” But that clip has haunted me.

You are not just responsible for attempting to excuse Tambor for inexcusable behavior, that clip with Cera suggests you need to make some changes, and some apologies–for yourself.

Child to Parent Violence

Nine years ago I sat in a ob-gyn office looking at a pamphlet on domestic violence. I thought my partner is not the problem, but I am a domestic violence victim nonetheless.

During that pregnancy my adopted daughter kicked me in the stomach. During those years she subjected me to verbal abuse, kicked, punched, and hit me. We called doctors, the police, mental hospitals.  Her anger was explosive and violent, but nothing she has ever done is worse than the things her brother did in secrecy.

Back then I did research. There was no support or process for parents attempting to pursue legal avenues of protection against abusive children.

I persisted. I attempted to get her charged with assault. I asked the police to take pictures of the marks she left.

They told me she was too mentally ill to be incarcerated. They told me to tie her up.

Juvenile court dropped the charges.

When I look back to the long-ago beginnings of my relationship with these two very broken people I see that their violence defined the relationship throughout.  When young children with stories of neglect and abuse act out we may think there are solutions for caregivers in consistency, therapy, research, and time.

Maybe.

I never found those solutions.  I found that their problems were bigger than us all, that I was lucky to have survived at all.  Despite all our good intentions the advice I wish someone had given me twenty years ago—

Run fast, run far.