Ride Along

Before you were born, before I carried your

boy body suspended in the loam-scented

 

liquid, my swelled belly serving as your home,

before I consented to your father’s wish

 

to be your father, before I abandoned

my oft-stated desire to be a mother

 

to no one (or if to someone then to dogs),

before I embarked on my own journey

 

to become the person I wasn’t, just yet,

I knew exactly who I didn’t want you

 

to be. And now here we are, you balanced on

the lip of manhood, me objecting without

 

a word. You’re choosing my father’s profession,

one I didn’t want for you, cop legacy

 

pre-ordained. It’s just a ride along you say,

a project for school, and I nod, swallow my

 

words as fast as they come to me. Once you rode

on my rounded hip as I erected waist-high

 

bars to keep you in. Now you study me with

eyes I look up to meet, braced for the impact

 

of your words. A scorpling, clinging to the back

of its mother, hardens and then lets her go.