Sally Ball How Do You Do It?

Was the abusive coach actually

a menace or

just bad timing, an offhand

remark that fell

into a loop of self-loathing

adding an 'outside voice'

on top of the inside one

(which can at least be doubted, right?

since it comes from the stupid self)? My girl.


Stupid self--everyone valuable

so sui-accuses,

part of being sentient

and not evil

is that self-consciousness, -distrust,

now and then.

Exc oriations under a rock. Grief rock.


Our one girl. Alongside two brothers

and the normal of now:

college apps, thank-you notes,

first responder

certification. (Do I worry?

about him? or

about what he'll see?) Homework

and Self Care:

exercise and good books, coffee

and solitude or new friends

or none, none today, and how much

competition

makes sense if you don't

homeschool and don't play

(tennis) six hours a day six days a week...

How often,

how little, how hard, how soon?


Each one with a spiraling list,

small woes, big ones,

I'm here and i'm ready but also

spent the afternoon learning

(from church ladies) how to keep kids safe

from Sexual Predators--

"talented, resourceful, authoritative."


Like the security guard who bought Cokes

offered rides, gave money,

suggested paintball (a team)

Don't tell your parents...

Tow boys, my oldest and his friend.

The friend said Let's not tell.

The double betrayal

it then was to tell us.

When the police went to question

the guard, he had emptied

his apartment and fled. Pffst.

Which means it was real

Fucking real. Only one boy


able, willing, to tell. And me,

dumb luck

to get between my kids and the threats,

or to not get there.

To mean well but be weak

or too late. We have to work,

we make dinner or art or

time or haste. Or we don't.

We don't make it. When will that be?




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