Daily Archives: May 2, 2010

The News Reporter

“In life sometimes
it’s not whether you win or lose,
it’s how you run the race.”  This
glittering insight
is provided by
yet another news reporter
doing voice over on a story
of a man running a marathon
with inoperable cancer. 

I wonder,
sometimes, what the news reporter
says to his children when he gets home
from his day.  “Don’t worry
about getting into college, Evan;
it’s always darkest before the dawn,” I imagine
him saying to his eldest son.  Assuring
his distraught daughter, “There are plenty
of fish in the sea, honey.  He didn’t deserve you
anyway, you’re young yet…”   And the youngest son,
still in Little League, gets “What’s important
is that you tried your best.  Let me tell you
a story about a man, a brave man
I met today…”

If that were I
facing my own children’s problems,
I’d probably be speaking in tongues,
leaping from frog to slick,
not trying to puzzle them
but succeeding in spite of myself.

I’d say to my eldest son,
“The sky is a blurred blanket,
a dingy parking lot of old dreams, and
you’ll be forever trying to unstain it.” 
To my daughter I’d say,  “Leap
into the market of sandalwood
and rejected shoes, and walk barefoot
among the stalls until you you are shod.”
And little Stevie would hear of alligators in flames
and the wings of ardent warrior kings shining
as they play catch with the hearts of clouds
among the fields of Vatican rubies.

One of them would say, “Dad, you’re so
weird,” and go back to listening
to Coheed and Cambria,

and then I’d nod
and tell myself,

“There is not enough cotton on earth
to block the impact
when the blocks of the broken Temple
fall from above.”

I see them lost,
seeking comfort in vain
from me, and
I tell myself,
as the blocks fall around me,
that this is why it is good
that I have no children:
I would likely just use them
as paving stones
on my way toward
the abstraction of living.
This is why it is good
that I have no children
in my core.  This is why
the news reporter exists:
so children can thrive
on a plane I can’t reach
through marathon
or long hours sailing
the deep seas
in the dark before dawn,
no matter how hard
I might try.

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