and the tears of other children. And though the former
wrenches me awake if I hear it anywhere, all the others
can cry themselves to a sad and lonely death for all I care.
If that makes me awful, talk to the god who made me so.
And I’ve learned to tell the difference between your cries,
by which this time I mean I can identify each type of whine,
and wail, whimper, moan, and livid eldritch howl, as well
the difference between your fake tears and your tired tears,
your feed-me tears, and even the Academy Award
for Most Indignant Unforgiving Tantrum of Inconsolable
which goes to . . . you. Again.
If this makes me awful, talk to the god who made me so.
But tonight I am standing in the middle of your room,
and you are here, and safe, and warm, and fed, asleep,
and dry. So why do I think I still can hear beneath this hush
some softer and more desperate cry and know it’s yours?
What god would give a father such a fear? That in a place
I cannot find, you are alone and scared and needing me,
crying out my name in some voice I cannot hear.