BEFORE THE DOCTOR DELIVERS THE WORD
My sister drives us to the office.
I do not want to hear what they are going to say about us.
In this minute before the news, I'd like to take a detour to the beach.
Son, swim like you are flying.
Oh, you paint the sounds and build houses from crayons.
The welfare insurance card sweats in my hand.
Let's you and me float like air, son.
It is basic and it is plain, the Doctor pronounces.
* * *
TWO DOCTORS ON THE SAME DAY
The doctors know what will help my two sons.
"Watch my mouth, see how it moves," the speech therapist tells my youngest son.
He doesn't believe that S comes before P in words like spot and spill.
The psychiatrist says to my older son that she understands just what he means when he says
"There's a good med for that. Trust me."
"Watch my mouth. Say the word. Trust me."
Both sons look to me.
There are some things to be certain of in this world.
* * *
MOTHER TO SON
Don't speak to that tall man.
Don't walk the dog on the golf course in summer.
Don't believe the one who claimed a donut is an athlete's breakfast.
Don't forget to take your medicine.
Do not trust people just because they are people.
Beautiful boy, darling son.
When the doctor called and said you were detained,
I cannot stop the misjudgments of men.
I cannot unlock future doors to rooms I cannot visit.
I cannot contort time, though to you I am invincible.
I can remember your blue eyes before the medicine changed their color.
I can still hear you laugh in lovely innocence,
When you ask, "Is it funny, ma? Is it? Is it silly?
Beautiful Boy, Darling Son.