Taking Care: White Family

By | 15 May 2023

We are predators at heart. Sensing weakness
puts us on edge and seeing it makes us salivate.
We want to strike, to kill. But it comes out like

healthy pushing. When White Not-Grandpa
recovered from his surgery, I’d walk with him
and White Grandma. In his survival-shock depression,

he’d want to quit and tried turning around and going home
every few steps. White Grandma would hold his walker
and use his debt to push him: “I’ll leave here,” she said.

“I’ll turn my back on all we made,” she said. “I’ll have nothing.
You promised I wouldn’t end up like that.” And he’d start moving.
She said the same thing to get him on the walk in the first place

and again to eat dinner, each time, finding new ways to phrase
his fear. In another context, the same move: try going to school
or moving to a new city, or changing careers, and we’ll find why

you want more and say you don’t deserve it. We’ll list your faults
and failures, list ours, heap on enough weight till you break,
like us. Our mouths say it’s support,

but with their eyes always forward and focused
not wide and searching
our blood says you’re prey.

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