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Can we put the knives away



and go to bed?

I’ve burned my tongue on too many words

I didn’t mean.

I forget who I am when I’m angry—

I hate seeing this place a mess—

and forget my shoes in the sink.

The dishes in the hall.

If we had children

would we repeat the same mistakes

our parents made?

Or would we wrap them up in winter coats

And put them to bed with promises

That being good to one another

Is sometimes the only thing we can do right?


If I could

I would tuck you in

The way I wanted to be when I was little.

I would try to hang up my pride

On the coat rack in the foyer

And wipe my feet before coming inside.

And in those times I’ll forget,

Because I will,

I’ll promise to clean up the mess after,

Even if at the moment,

I don’t know if I’ll be able to promise

That I wouldn’t do it again.



-JC

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