The impulsive change is its own verse—
reveals more than than I ever intended.
With the children, my words are terse,
but they’ve found that I am defenseless.
A child, like them, in so many ways,
curling my hair and fixating on the mirror.
They know the dread in each day
the message louder and clearer.
I let the heater blow on my face,
run the tub and put off work.
They know that happiness is just a race,
run just as fast by a checkout clerk.
That, I’ve yet to learn, and I bury my head,
I hand out my tests and surveys,
In five years, they say, they’ll be dead.