Monday, June 16, 2014

Red Flagged



She hugs her baby, pats his bottom
sets him on the floor, in the center, where
spectators form a ring and watch.

The "experts": social worker, physical therapist
speech pathologist ask his parents
10,000 questions they do not

understand how to answer or
they don’t see the point

of it all.

The experts make marks on reams of paper, scribble
their impressions in the margins, as if

he is a deficiency, weak in his limitations
a flaw of nature

they show him how to roll a ball, blow bubbles
clap his hands in imitation

but his blank eyes stare at a speck on the floor.

The experts gather their papers and toys and
instruments of instruction

the boy’s mother
gathers him in her arms

the stoic father speaks:

We love him like this, the way he is.
He is our bright star in the sky.

We only want he eat Eskimo food
so he can carry us and
bury us in our village when we grow old.

An expert hands the mother a baby food grinder.

This will grind the muktuk, so the whale
can make your baby strong.

Strong enough to carry you and
bury you in the village

when you grow old.


  1. Thank God for the one true expert. And for the father, willing to speak his important truth.

    Just marvelous. I've been around some of those experts (just some, mind you) and I wouldn't give you two cents for those "some."

    1. As one myself, in a career I enjoyed, it doesn't hurt to be mightily humbled from time to time!

  2. It just occurred to me. We may know the end times have arrived when Google gives us a little code and says, "Please prove that you are a robot."

  3. A very arresting photo . . . .and a very incisive poem, Moniica.

  4. Cutting through the drywall to the foundation you have revealed the essence of life and love and what it is all about. This is so strong and beautiful, it overshadows the pain. Thanks.