Than Watching Your Child Struggle to Read
by Francine DuBois
There's nothing more painful than watching your child struggle to
Except, of course, picking her dying body up off the floor after you've
been shot five times:
Three times in the shoulder, once in the kneecap, and the final shot
(uh-oh, getting woozy now)
You just can't feel where it landed and the trails of blood have all
You just had to have him over for dinner, didn't you? Little Miss
Bringing out the hors d'ouerves. "And colby cheese is for remembrance,"
Slipping a little Ophelia in with the potatoes. "I have long longed
to make this for you,"
You say, handing him a slice of your three-alarm chili-glazed meatloaf.
He played charades with your daughter ("No, no. Sounds like itch.")
to pass the time
While the crusty dishes swam with the fishes. You seemed confident leaving
the two to their games,
Playing the evening away while you and your pals the scrubbing bubbles
shared some quality time.
Then it got that Lifetime movie-of-the-week quiet and you heard the
I bet you weren't thinking about phonics as your daughter ran into
(Little bloody toeprints all over the mopped floor: what would Martha
Clutching her pink flannel nightgown. "Mommy, he's gonna hurt me."
Did you stop and say, "No, darling. He's going to
hurt you" or did you let it slide?
Emeril's "BAM!" was never as loud as those shots ringing
through the kitchen,
Knocking delicate wooden geese off their cabinet perch into unused cast
Bronze molds that have never tasted food deflecting bullets right and
Did you then tell your daughter that su- can take a sh- sound?
"Sssh, sugar. Sure, we'll be okay" as you hover under the
table while chairs fly.
Is that when you launched into the long e sounds? "Keep your feet
still. We need to sleep
To dream this away. Please, leave!" Killers don't care about phonics,
yet you claim
Those wounds will heal faster than the vicarious shame you feel when
your daughter can't read.
But, honey, trust me. You've got bigger things to worry about than
your daughter's inability
Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version -- Inspiration
To read you the New York Times on Sunday. What are you going
to do about those nasty
Bullet holes? What are you going to do about this killer in your home
who won't leave?
When are you going to realize what the real problem in this situation
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