(This piece was inspired by imagining what the parents of the young man who killed five fellow students must be going through)

I hear you speak
but the words don’t make sense to me
My mind is swirling
thoughts flying in and out
too quick to capture
Maybe this…
What about that…
a fierce competition for my attention

one thing at a time
calm down
breathe deeply
Now, what were you saying?
A barrage of words assault me
and it takes every bit of willpower
to comprehend what the babble means

Instinctively I am in denial
I do not want to hear the message
coming my way

When I became a parent
I never thought this would
be a message for me

Your child is in trouble
Your child has been hurt
Your child is gone…
Your child is the per pe tra tor

Nothing prepared me
for a foreign message like that
My heart swells
it breaks
part of me shatters
and runs to the shadows
a place where no one can find

If they can’t see me
it can’t be real, right?

it can’t be real
it can’t be real

The world sees a monster
a psychopath
I see a sick child
my beautiful son

where is the little boy
I once knew?