|Yes, I have a raccoon sunburn!|
Yesterday, while I was sitting at the pool, broiling myself, my daughter was having an argument with one of her friends in the water. Apparently, the friend was upset because my daughter didn't invite her to go to the fireworks with her on Saturday night. Her friend was floating around, sulking. Maybe because I was hot and miserable, I got really annoyed. I literally had to force myself to ignore the situation. My daughter kept apologizing, and her friend kept ignoring her. It took an act of God for me to keep my mouth shut.
|My daughter and her friends|
Which brings me to today's poem, which is about my daughter and her friend and hurt and acceptance. I've been stewing about the scene for a whole day now. (My daughter has probably already forgotten about the whole disagreement.) I'm hoping this poem will exorcise my anger.
Saint Marty needs to go rub some Solarcaine on his forehead now.
My ten-year-old daughter’s best friend hates her, floats around the swimming pool, ignores my daughter’s pleas. “Talk to me.” I listen from my lounge chair, eyes closed. The sun sinks into my face, arms, legs. Turns my skin tight and pink. I try to ignore my daughter’s voice as it grows louder, more desperate. “It’s not my fault.” I’m used to these tectonic rifts, will let my daughter tread water, save herself. The pool, green and cool as a frog’s back, would soothe my body’s heat, replace burn with shadow, moss, the cool loam of forest floor after weeks of wildfire. But to interfere in my daughter’s battle with a splash or wave or eclipse of water would upset the delicate ecosystem being reestablished. I open my eyes, watch my daughter and her friend drift away, deeper and deeper, my daughter’s voice, a thrum in the July afternoon. Like cicada. “I didn’t mean it.” I wonder if her tongue will sting tonight the way my neck will. If her words will blaze in the dark, keep her awake, remind her how many times she said “I’m sorry” as her friend left her red, hurting. Craving aloe.
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