When My Kids Ask Me Why I Write

Well, I’ll tell them,

sometimes you wake up and twist your ankle on the way downstairs
before a very important meeting, and later you find out it is shattered
in four different places, and even though you have big things to do
you must sit very still and wait for them to fuse again. Sometimes

you wake up and it’s pouring rain so you make a pot of bold coffee
and read the news and it’s just as depressing as yesterday’s headlines
and so you decide to do something mindless like fold clean laundry
into categorized piles and then the phone rings and you find out

that someone you love has died, and so you stop folding clothes
and start shaking like a stilt house in a hurricane, and you forget
about the laundry and the coffee and the rain, and so you write.

Sometimes waiting isn’t fair, I’ll tell them. And sometimes
you must put the world on pause, turn off the television,
and let whatever is broken heal over, bones hardening until
you are whole enough to move. That’s why I write, dear child,

because sometimes people die and the interstates are flooded
and another church was bombed in a city you can’t pronounce

but you have a pen and a mind and a heart that can’t stop bleeding.

Why do I write? Because

what else would I do with all of this waiting?

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