Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Overhearing a parent scold

Do not break the flowers
touch the sky with your fingertips
then use a hand sanitizer

Do not spend the penny
then cry for the lack of food in your stomach
or the sore feet after a walk home

Do not cross the street without looking
first for others across the road, then
for delicate things, like bodies, lives

Do not talk to strangers at all
turn your head and pretend you did not hear them
then run

Do not eat unwashed fruit
even if it is delicious,
even if the owner never catches you

Do not climb high, or crawl low
your knees and elbows will heal
but the fabric will never be as clean

Do not drink, you will develop a reputation
that follows you like a bird
to attract words on words

Do not listen to my voice when it warns you
but listen to how it changes after you make the mistake
how shrill, how loud.

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