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Momma's Boy Gone Bad

Dear Mother
I am sorry for not coming to visit you,
for not sitting cross-legged in the open field
while reciting confessions. I am sorry
you can not count my thousand thanks
for the many model trains and superheroes
that drove the family debt to somewhere
between impossible and my father’s insanity.
I should have leapt from my bed and came
to your defense late at night when you
screamed at him, demanding the car keys
because you “just wanted to go for a ride”.
I now confess mother. It wasn’t the heroes
I craved. It was you I wanted, not to be shared
with brothers or sisters, just you and me
having French toast in the diner
on Sunday morning, you and me on a train ride
to the city, your voice singing Nature Boy
only to me. I am sorry that you denied yourself
baubles and furs. But I now understand
why you feared the dark, why the TV
stayed on all night, why you couldn’t make
the briefest trip to the nearby market. Someday
I will bite back on my own fears and come
to visit you. I suppose we could reminisce
about model trains. I could try to explain
why there is a machine next to me at
bed time, recycling white noise like
an old TV after the anthem has concluded.

November 16, 2015