Sometimes I want to flip back the calendar
I would like to see you again as a toddler
Raking Texas tree leaves with a tool
three times your height. You insisted then.
Sometimes I want to take you by your hand
To find out what happened in your brain
When you tumbled out of the climbing tree,
When you were attacked on the strip, again
When meth heads pummeled your head.
I would like to insist to the doctors who
Saw you after two concussions on the freshman
Football field, an away game, where they laughed
When you couldn’t find bearings and sense to run,
That your brain is broken and rebuilding grey
Matter is more important than living as a jock.
Sometimes I want to roll back the clock
And find a way to keep peer pressure at bay
And away from your self-medicating woes when
The high-pitched noises scramble thoughts.
What happens to a brain destroyed by
Trauma and vodka and a few hits on the side?
Sometimes I want to revisit Trapper’s Kettle to
See you conversing and philosophizing with friends.
I’d like to let you know that whatever it is,
You are strong and brave and kind. Finding
Purpose in your surroundings will slow the
Brain pain and heart haze. Find purpose
In every conversation, in every lesson, in every
Good deed for others. Sometimes, it is more
Important to be kind than to be right; more
Important to love others than to be powerful.
Sometimes I want to start all over again
Counting your toes, your fingers, and laughter
In the bathtub. I want to see you with the
Baby animals, and in the carnival car. It’s then
I want to make everything upright again.
Sometimes I want you to know what
I know that Sometimes can be a state of mind.
—Nelda Curtiss is a former substance-prevention media specialist, journalist, and retired college professor who enjoys writing and fine arts. Contact her at [email protected]