A Parent's Lament
by Sandra Jaspen Hughes
He was just a baby, but I knew
The signs were there, I could see his pain.
A sudden shriek, alligator tears.
He clung to me in his anguish.
Help me. Help him. Help me help my son.
Blond, blue eyed, and smiling,
Running, climbing, tumbling, laughing-and then
He needed to stop.
He needed to sleep.
It hurt. He hurt. I hurt.
I canít go to school, itís too bright.
I need to stay in bed, turn off the light.
Iím missing my friends.
Iím missing my field trip.
Iím missing my life.
Heís not making this up. Canít someone help?
Mama, I canít see one side of the TV.
Mama, I canít see all my fingers.
Help me, Mama.
Iím scared, Mama.
Make it go away, Mama. Make it go away.
Tall, blond, athletic, dynamic.
Playing forward in the Big Game.
The noise is unbearable,
The court is swaying;
Come pick me up, I canít drive home.
Of course heís in school.
What do you mean? Heís not in his class?
Where is he?
Find him, donít punish him, help him.
Safe! Sound asleep in the school library.
My baby is sick and needs help.
My son just wants to be normal.
Heíll say he has the flu.
Heíll say he has a cold.
Putting on a face, he tries to mask the excruciating, yet invisible pain.
What will happen when he grows up?
Can he earn a living? Will someone love him?
Itís not ďjustĒ a headache .
It defines his every decision.
Did I do this to him? Is it my fault? Is it his?
If nothing can stop the pain, what will happen next?
The man has a headache.
The headache has hold of the man.
Relentless is the pain.
Brave and courageous, he searches for relief, for cures.
Help him. Help us. Help him live his life.
© Sandra Jaspen Hughes, 2011
Last updated April 5, 2011.