Broken People and Whole

Your mother wrung her hands
at the kitchen table, said,
Honey, you ought not keep that retard baby.

Your doctor frowned at his clipboard,
flipped papers to avoid your eyes, said
In all likelihood, he’s never gonna talk. I’m sorry.

Your husband slammed the storm door, said
I ain’t signed up to raise no freak,
and you’ve never seen him since.
Never wanted to.

Thirty years later,
your son grins at you,
after singing in the Easter choir.

His knob-knuckled hands flutter,
grasping at spasms of joy,
and you can’t help but think
that the best he can do,
little as it may be,
is more effort of love
than those unfaithful people
could muster up for him.

Fuck what broken people say
about what a whole child can be.

Fuck what broken people say
about people they think are broken.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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