A Parenting Tale
***A Parenting Tale***
He must’ve been
Just barely fourteen, but still off as
A ninja filling a pillowcase
with chocolate on Halloween.
Although through all other days
his ken was an avocado green,
That is actually a deep
nubby, buttery green.
The older teens, always girls,
Stood leaning on the fenders of their parent’s cars,
Twirling their lemon curls around
Still child-small index fingers
While foot tapping to some unknown
Time until night cloaked our court.
Then, with a wave of the girl’s arms,
our son collapsed to fit out through
Keyholes or go with the autumn mice
Under the garage door, to slink
From one girl’s car to three, where
Not one pair of pink lips cou answer
me if her parents knew her where?
Hardly a surprise then one night
near ten p.m.,
When authority alarmed, fist-knocking
on our front door. Police?
What is the, aaa, problem, sirs?”
“You’ve a son we’ve gotten word of.
Is he home?” Yes. Well, yes.
Certainly, yes. It’s bedtime…
He comes down, cool from his room to
Join us in the hall, looking face to face,
so sliced-olive green.
The officers, wasted not a second.
“We’ve a warrant for a missing girl,
A friend of yours said you knew.
Have you seen Anna Joe today?” No.
“Have you had company tonight?” No.
“Have friends up there with you?” No.
Then to us, “We’d like to go up to look.”
I was mother-so-proud assuring, “He
doesn’t lie. I’d’ve heard company.”
Within a minute, the parade came down
The stairs: handcuffed girl, officers
with son between them and coming to
Stand by me, supposing it was safe.
I screamed, “You lied! To the police!
To us!” Then, I swung my arm back
And forward again with force from
Knowing how he’d dealt us into danger.
I smacked him hard and loud
in front of the police in that
Scrapbook moment of parenting the idiot
Events of a bean-green teen, which also
ended musical car nights on our
(c) sally young Eslinger 2/6/22
Copyright © Sally Eslinger | Year Posted 2022
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