Watching My Daughter Conform
The other kids say she is weird.
She has twenty-four different ways to say
dumb-ass. The teachers
wonder why can't she color in the lines.
Her sapphire eyes have changed to camouflage
fatigue. It is the rage. Soft. Blue.
Undulant and intoxicating. The color of blood
before oxygen. I wear high school memories
safety pinned to my left aorta.
like a corsage. I boxed my combat boots.
The 1950's black and white prom dress torn
fishnets burned eleven years ago.
I spout the rhetoric of defiant difference.
My mouth moves in slow motion. Emits backward
record sounds. I have no proof
other than open heart surgery
and she would squirm if I aired
those faded flowers. I find scraps
of notebook paper in her
jeans. Lists. Act Dumb. Giggle.
Wear sundresses. Watch TV. Don't talk
about computers. How could I
understand? I am mother now. Too dull.
My matt knife can not break the corrugated
brown cardboard cartons she is using
like a womb. Once upon a time, I imagined
she would be a river. Never content
to stay between two banks
wearing down the rocks.
(Her Divine Serenity)