The End of Childhood?
In this new world
dogs wear sweaters
and kids wear collars,
pets are kids and kids are pets—
cattle prodded down a “a Path.”
No Halloween costumes
or Christmas presents, since
they’re commercialized Satanism.
Concerned parents replace fun
with “wholesome Christian activities”
designed to brainwash
the next generation.
They package childhood
and sell it as Satanic,
because fun isn’t in God’s plan.
Kids forced to watch The Passion
instead of “unwholesome” cartoons.
A 2-hour beating on film—
no wonder they’re fucked up
and bringing guns with them to school.
Welcome to the neo-Puritan household,
where we raise puppets incapable of critical thought.
“Listen to Mommy or you’re going to hell.”
Tug on a string and get a response.
Here’s the eternal brand of family love;
it’s just fear with a new name.
The Process of Grief
Around the table they gossip,
talk about impending family visits,
and ultimately begrudge my uncle his grief.
He isn’t coming to visit,
and they judge him for it,
ignoring his needs for their wants.
I was the one who went down to help
after Adam’s death,
when he had trouble sleeping or eating
after dreaming of the crash the night it happened,
like Adam reached out in his last moments
to connect to him one last time,
waking him so he was there to take the call—
there had been an accident,
and he was really gone.
He wandered the house in the days following,
everything reminding him of Adam,
unable to function.
They had planned like father and son
instead of uncle and nephew
to buy a few acres of land and open a shooting range.
They had home videos of skeet shooting,
laughter and pranks,
working on their cars together.
“He needs to get over it,”
only two months later,
and I hate them for it.
Late nights, you would bring
Italian beef sandwiches from work,
come to visit, laugh around
Grandma's kitchen table.
My parents were separated;
at Grandma's house
I shared a bed with my mom
when she wasn't delivering newspapers.
You had lost your home,
kicked out at eighteen,
but still you would come
from your restaurant delivery job,
ignoring your own hardships
to cheer us with your presence
and make sure we ate
during hard times.
Italian beef has been my favorite
ever since you introduced me to it
one late night when I was fifteen.
The taste, texture, remind me of
happiness in the midst of uncertainty,
the scent of your musical laughter.
Now, one month after your death
I eat and remember beyond the grief.