the boys downstairs

{originally posted march, 2007}

aside from my alarm clock
the first thing I hear in the morning
are the cries of a 3 yr old child

after repeatedly hitting the snooze button
there’s the echo of
mommy yelling and
baby trying to figure out why she’s so mad

a few months ago it would be
mommy and daddy fighting that greeted me
7am or earlier
fussing about lies and all other manner of what not
i suppose the experiment in playing house failed
since daddy’s not there anymore

i don’t know what that boy did
pretty as he is
i remember coming out of the house the same time as them
and was greeted with a bright, cheerful “hi!”
then, later, the mischievous face
staring out of the front door calling
(I’m guessing she was in the basement doing laundry)
I playfully put a finger to my lips
and he grinned that pretty grin
at our quick game of peek-a-boo
and kept calling

i don’t pretend to know
what motherhood is like
but i understand a bit
about the making of happy children

i also know how the other little boy
who used to live in the same apartment
became my godson’s bully

…no one spoke to him
unless they were yelling
my gentle “hey” caught him as a deer in headlights
then he shot finger guns at me
(he was always shooting finger guns
or play ones
expecting you to fall down dead)

i remember hearing the tantrums he’d throw
after daddy dropped him off
on a weekend or
after a weeknight visit
remember thinking
that anger’s gonna get him in
big trouble


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