The Parent Test

Everyone do the opposite of what you were

told to do. Do it different. Better. This time

the children won’t suffer. This time the children

won’t grow up with knots in their bellies that

untangle with time then swim like eels through

the muck of their years, flicking tails at their hearts. 

Everyone do exactly what you’ve been told to do.

This way the children won’t suffer. This way

the children won’t grow up dodging knives

aimed at their soft centers. They will see

the knives coming and obey the laws of gravity.

They will get nicked and scarred. 

My darlings:

You won’t feel a thing, I promise.

Not until you’re so far away from your

memories you can’t touch them anymore

so you long to touch them for the sake of longing.

Because you can’t try again you try to try again

for the sake of trying. Not your fault. Instinct. 

Jessica Heron is a writer living on the Atlantic coast. She studies language, film, and poetry but is interested in everything. You can find out more about her including a full list of publications at and follow her as @signature_trash on social media.  

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