To My Son

It is not
thrift prevents my
gushing hot suds over you. Nor
merely that
you would be
embarrassed. It is that
soap would rot your skin, hot water
melt your bones. You are
allergic to warmth and fragrance. I maintain
a tepid bath for you, free from any taint of
sweetness. And that
is love even though it
feels like
indifference.

I know I
should love you for what you
are. But I
hate what you are. I love
who you were, and what you
might have been. I run your baths for
duty’s sake; and for
pity’s sake. And that is
love even though it feels like
indifference.

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One thought on “To My Son

  1. I think this is a very cool, insightful poem; from a mother’s emotional point of view certainly but good understanding of the son’s need for distance. The bath analogy I think is particularly strong. Good stuff!

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