Walking to the school bus, you burst into tears when I said it's picture day. Your sweet blue eyes spill tears down your face; it’s the wrong shirt, the wrong everything for the photograph that will immortalize you as a second grader. My chest tightens and my breath speeds up as I try to keep pace with the painful contortions of your face. I sprint back to the house to grab you a sweater; to grab anything to take away the pain.

Last night you danced around your bedroom, 8 year old limbs moving the way they wanted with no one watching. A warm flush of happy rising in your cheeks.

This morning tears saturate the tiger on your t-shirt that’s all wrong for a second grade picture. My mind races, desperately searching for solutions to your flood of feeling, while I drown in my own waves.


Fairfax, Virginia

Learning creative writer living in Northern Virginia. I'm a career changer in my mid-forties trying to make a writing life.