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K Cash-Staley Oct 2013
Band-aids to prevent the social infections that could eventually
spread to the frontal lobe,
Diseases started on Fox News, spread to the living room,
circulate around the family dinner table
putting victims of ignorance on the coroner’s slab
Alleviate the pain.
Should we let the gapping wounds of intolerance fester, decay and grow maggots?
***** bigotry, vile illiteracy, primitive ideas coat the skins of society like a black goo.

Band-aids: self adhesive bandages
We aren’t teachers. We are medics.
covering the gapping wounds of life
lathering the lesions with Neosporin.
Healing the scars from parenting gone wrong
- scars from wounded self-esteems
-lacerations to the proverbial heart

Scars lasting longer than the body itself.  
No one knows where its impact will end.

temporary fix
heal the wound fast, heal the hurt faster
A Johnson and Johnson remedy for damaged organisms
Well-meaning ones hurling scriptures scald hands with tainted words
Healing is a matter of time.

Arm teachers to protect children from the crazies who loom?
What will protect them from their own inherited ignorance?
The damage is already done when they get here.
Equip us with Band-Aids, boxes and boxes.

Hello Kitty over their ears to block the infection from coming in
Spiderman for their mouths. Stop the seepage of any contamination from spreading to others.

The remaining scars will fade, but not disappear.
even with a band-aid.
K Cash-Staley Oct 2013
I have a gift for them.
I should wrap it first.
Blue and gold ribbon
wound tightly to keep contents from overflowing.

I have been preparing their gift
since my birth, gathering the pieces
year after year
trying to connect carefree summer days of youth
with the concern and worry of adults.

Many teachers are on this planet to impart some knowledge to the future generations.
Roy G BIV, Please excuse my dear aunt Sally,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue in .... Yeah, whatever.
Knowledge like this can help children attain their dreams, they say.

I want to give them something else
Inject splices of film from my life into their vision.
Let them see first hand
the memories
Let them see first hand
the mistakes, the recurring nightmares of shame and regret

Take this gift
I see them suffering from their lack of insight,
like death by dehydration
at the river’s edge
I try to make them drink.
Drink up, Drink up this gift.
But their tongues swell with the cotton mouth of youth.
Only mumblings of in-text citation and Shakespeare reach their ears.

They write love poems, sicky sweet lines about prom and how his eyes twinkled like the stars.
“We will be together forever.”
They write adorable break up poems.
I want to tell them to run.
Run because that part only gets worse.
When he pawns your heart for a new leather jacket you were going to sell  to buy your childhood back,
They tell stories about bullies
on the playground.
Broken hearts and skined knees.

Please take this gift., Drink up.
I know how this goes.
None of it makes sense.
We spend 12 years trying to be cookie cutters of each other,
the rest of our lives we want to be snowflakes in January gust,
individuals dancing free in the wind

If they would just take my gift,
tip open the lid
peek inside.

This is not the end,
these four walls for four years.

I want to give this gift to you.
You need to know what I did not.
Pour your heart and soul into this.
Your life starts here.
Grab every opportunity that comes your way
Grab it like a life raft.
Love everyone,
that dorky guy in the corner, The mouth breather,
Love him the most.

I take it back,
Make your own mistakes. You are a clean slate.
Your life is that favorite coloring book,
create your masterpiece.
Go outside the lines.
Like the magic 8 ball, my answers are unclear, you fill in the details.

The bully doesn’t go away after high school,
It morphs into the bill collector, the tax assessor,
Your mother in law.
You will still be faced with deadlines, due dates.
You will still worry about how you look.
Trade your Proactive for Oil of Olay.
Your hair gel for Rogaine

The mirror reflects a new face back to you.
But you will still be you.

It is not the end, these four walls
for four years.
just the beginning.
K Cash-Staley Oct 2013
Time Machine

  Sweet sunshine spreads across your bed as you breath, breathe scented with Playdoh and black raspberries from the front yard. I watch your chest rise, fall, rise, fall.
“There’s my boy. Time to get up. Rise and Shine.”
That grin, before you even open your big blue eyes, those windows to your soul, those orbs that reflect my own face back to me.
the softness of your young skin, freckled from long summer days.
Here we are content in this solitary moment.
I have a desire to dive head first into a black hole to stop time.
Growing up means girlfriends, heartache, peer pressure...*** ( frankly I am not ready to have that conversation)
Growing up means getting closer to the time when you won’t really need me anymore. It means understanding that the world  out there has teeth...
Then you will get your driver’s license, freewill.
I want to dive head first into that black hole to stop time so maybe we can hold onto this moment forever.

At bedtime last night you confessed you are scared of the those dark pockets in your room.
“What are YOU afraid of, Mom?”
I think I said fire, spiders. it was a lie.
I couldn’t bare to tell you about the funeral today.  You would ask the question that doesn’t have an answer:  Why was he driving so fast, Mom? And I would have to admit that I don’t have the answers this time.
Telling you would be like telling the moth about the flame, crushing your own dreams before you could even imagine them. I can’t tell you what it was like to watch his friends huddled in a circle, holding each other up to keep from throwing themselves into the grave beside him.
Past the circle, stood the body of his mother. Only her body. Her mind wasn’t there, It couldn’t have been. Because I am a mom. I have you, my boy and I know.I know that ****** created a vacuum for her hopelessness. Otherwise she would be ripping out her hair, screaming, clawing, jumping in the casket with the body, trying to forget that his lifeless image is now scorched into her brain for eternity.
That brain works like a time machine, gears turning, visiting the day at the ocean when he flew his first kite, seeing him in the photo next to his first bike, his first missing tooth, his first school dance, his first crush, his first basketball game,  his first car...   Memories upon memories turning brown like old photographs.  Her time machine now searches for the memory of his last dinner at home, his last words on the phone, his last basketball game, his last breath....
My boy, I hope I never need that time machine. But that black hole will not keep you here with me in this moment, young and innocent. That biggest fear you asked about last night.... is losing you forever, my boy.
Stay alive. Erase all other words of wisdom ever parted from my lips. I don’t really care if you use the word “ain’t”. I will cover my ears. Leave your jammies on the floor, forget to wash your face, leave your bike in the rain, play baseball instead of walking the dog, lie about finishing that essay, come home past curfew because it took awhile to gather the courage to kiss her. I won’t be mad. You will be in this world and I can look into your bright eyes again tomorrow...without that **** time machine.

— The End —