These days, just before dawn, I find myself
Asking mom if I can stay home from school.
I teach school now and mom is dead, but
When I was a kid and said I didn’t want to go,
She wouldn’t make me. She’d pass a cool palm
Over my forehead and get on with her day.
Sometimes we’d nap together, but mostly she
Went to her job and I’d be alone all day.
I don’t remember what I did, and she never
Once asked me, never once asked why
I wanted to stay home, and so I didn’t ask
Myself. She must have trusted me, or not
Much cared, which may be trust’s result.
I stayed home because some days it felt
Perilous to be seen, and other days it felt
Perilous not to be, and these mornings it is
So much both that I do not tell my students
Or family because I think they must trust me,
And because I think they don’t much care
Whether I’m alone all day with them or not.
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