My kid won’t go to school


Morning finds her buried

in her sleep,

her father at her door


We were violent at first,

me throwing off her covers, she


She bit me once.

Now we have a pattern,

I beg

a short time through

her hollow door.

She clings to silence

til I’m gone.


She knows she’s wrong,

hates herself.

Retreating, I know

she’s right.

We scroll the same scenes

all day.

Presidents laughing


over bombs for Israel.


in Gaza, a food line

was shot to pieces.

Moms and kids.


And here?

A students crack,

C students

are doomed.

Last spring a classmate

jumped off,

a senior OD’d

this fall.

My brother’s kids were

locked down

last year while a classmate


his homeroom.

The usual.


My daughter says she’s bored

by nature.

Waterfalls, canyons,


Last year Mount Rainier,

she wants to

go back to the car

and sleep.

No longer sublime,

the world

holds no secrets.

Not even the laws that

govern us.

Only the dumb persistence

of atoms.


We understand they’re

in the Tube,

these kids. The Blitz above.

We adults

are afraid, our talk

dull bluster

in the dark. The kids

have seen this.

Life is a thing that wants

them dead.

Later I will bring

her lunch.


James Caton

James Caton is an emerging author whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Impossible Task, Arboreal, La Piccioletta Barca, and The MacGuffin. He is completing a book of poems, Nakba and Other Poems. He lives in Ann Arbor.

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