Always you wake in the morning to the idea she may die of her
own hand, an entire decade of broken hours, of clinical depression
proceeds these last few years. Whenever you experienced peace then
there was a constant waiting for the next cut to open you up. Still
you say your child is the greatest gift ever given. Would you make
it that she’d never been born? Not in a thousand years, but maybe
last night, or last year, or tomorrow. Television sounds from below.
The new grandbaby cries, is soothed by your daughter. For the rest
of your life you will suffer such contradictions, making you live mostly
in pain, no one to blame but everywhere there’s worry. Cool month
of October. Quick hour this a.m. on a bike to keep the heart pumping.
Tea on the stove. Monk on the radio. Smell of the ocean half a block
from home, you wonder why it’s so quiet in the apartment downstairs.
Michael Flanagan was born in the Bronx, N.Y. and currently lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Poems and stories of his have appeared in many small press periodicals across the U.S. His full length collection, Days Like These (Luchador Press) is now out. His chapbook, A Million Years Gone, is available from Nerve Cowboy’s Liquid Paper Press.