Friday, April 16, 2010

What Was Wrong With Michael


"What do you see,
Stuart held up
One of those
Ink blots.
This was new,
He's trying everything
And anything
To crack into
His mind.

Sure he could
Say He saw
His father
Stabbing his mother
Because she served
Him tepid tea.
But Stuart would
Not believe him,
As his parents
Just left the room,
And his father
Was the perfect husband.

He could say
He saw a two-headed
Carrying the carcass
Of the dearly beloved
Family cat,
Senior Froufrou.
Senior because
It was only later
They realized
He was a mister.
They were still
Ignorant that
Froufrou was more
French than Spanish.

He could say
He saw a tired
Kid, wanting attention.
Wanting his parents
To treat him
A notch better
Than Sr. Froufrou.

Wanting his father
To build something with him,
Even if it was a paper plan.

Wanting his mother
To lounge around
And talk with him,
Laugh with him,
Listen to him.

Michael said
He saw a butterfly.

Stuart knew.
He knew
Michael was lying.
He knew what the boy wanted,
But he wanted
Michael to tell him.

It was the way
Stuart worked.
He did not want
To tell Michael's parents
One thing
And it was something else.

It was now
Three months.
Every Wednesday afternoon.
Three thirty exactly.
It was one other activity,
Like soccer practice
Or piano lessons.

Stuart wanted
To tell the parents
To take Michael
To the park.
To go to a matinée
With the boy.
To take him anywhere
Else, but here.

But that wasn't his job,
To tell parents
How to be parents.
His job was
To tell them
What was wrong with Michael.

"This was going nowhere!"
Stuart said at last,
After a silence
Spread through
The expanse of
The sparsely decorated office.

Stuart spoke plainly
Enough that his
Three year old daughter
Could understand.
He told Michael
What he thought
Was wrong.

Not what was wrong
With Michael,
Just what was wrong.
Then he asked the boy
If he was right.

With eyes downcast,
The boy nodded,
And works spilled
From his mouth,
Till none was left
In the boy.

A truce,
At last.

The next visit,
Stuart was prepared,
He told the parents
What was wrong
With Michael nodding
With each point made.

And when the good doctor
Was finished,
The concerned parents
Looked at one another,
Then proceeded to call
Stuart a hack,
A waste of time,
And they should sue him.

The next week,
Michael sat in
Henry's office.
Henry was suppose
To find out
What was wrong with Michael.

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