Making It Safe

It’s too late. We both know it.

I’ve just made a joke about what a shitty parent I am,
my twelve year old boy appreciates the joke with me.
We remember to think of the kids who unknowingly
live at that nuclear waste dump site in California.

We are lucky, and he is apologizing.
A little while ago he really handed it to me,
inappropriately; he’s sorry for acting like a jerk.

Now that I’m older (and done being ashamed afterwards),
I whispered instead of shouted. So he heard his own irrationality
in the ringing quiet.
I’m no longer there to meet him
in the electrical charge of anger; I’m listening.

And as he apologizes,
I hold his feet.
I make it safe.
and when he asks
“Why are you being nice to me;
I should be holding your feet,”
I say, “Why should you
suffer your mistake

any more than you’re already making yourself suffer?”

May 2019, In Honour of All Who Mother

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