Friday, March 03, 2006

Madonna of Gloom

Look here. Don’t you see?
I am depressed tonight. I slept for two hours after work
And now am out on the couch beside you checking
Email while our son asks what’s for dinner. I don’t want to make
Dinner. But I do want to eat dinner.
People need to know that I get a pass
When I feel this dull, smotheredness of tasks.
People need to understand that I get to sit on the couch,
Watch a movie,
Not smile.

This morning I went to a parent meeting and it was there
I began to feel this way:
I am a meager mother
Too little time to read
All the books the teacher held up
Our daughter a mirror of me
In both her brilliance and perplexity
I left the meeting without smiling
And nobody even chased me down in the parking lot
To sympathize.

Last night
Our dog bit another dog
Who I took to the vet and crooned to
While she whimpered.
I felt noble
And then I didn’t feel noble
Because it was my dog who attacked her
And she was hurt.

Here on the couch I wrap myself
In the soft muslin of discouragement.
You are doing a project I asked you to do
But it’s quiet here,

I want the house fairy to walk
Into my living room and vacuum the floors,
Answer my email,
Make spaghetti.

When people act around me
The way I am acting now
I find it supremely annoying.

All they need to do is act
All they need to do is decide
All they need to do is not be a black hole
Sucking in every bit of light
To feed their passive, lump-like souls.

But tonight it’s me and all I want
Is for you to say,
“Oh, my tulip, my buttercup,
My sweet mint julep baby,
Whatever could be wrong?”

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