10-Line Tuesday

October 9, 2012

to the boy with poison ivy on his face

It is so hard to keep your hands at your sides and wait for the skin
to find its footing and heal. Your fervent fits - those gnarled bursts you make
wrapped up in a blanket while you languish on the couch - can't dim
that maniacal itch or the throb of blisters reaching their apex. What it will take
to make this violence go away becomes your only hunger, but that hunger
is the only thing you cannot quiet. The room is spinning with your upset
while your mother waits with ointment and lost sleep. Remember her,
too. How she keeps her entire body still against your thrashing, a debt
of patience and concern it will take years to understand, then years more
to repay. Witness the woman witnessing your pain. Memorize this love to the core.