I love this poem so much that it now forms the opening of my newest play, The Let-Down Reflex.
I wrote it in June 2017 and it really does reflect the every day lived experience of parents. The Let-Down Reflex is currently in development and will be having a work-in progress showing on Thursday 24th January at Ballarat Trades Hall. Come along!
(It’s the) tinnitus-ear-worm whine of a name that does not complete you.
(It’s the) repetition of a question of a question of a question.
(It’s the) lingering scent of excrement on your fingers.
(It’s the) kick in the chest as a refusal to cooperate.
(It’s the) manipulation, distraction, white lies and omissions.
(It’s the) righteousness of a refusal to drink from the wrong coloured cup.
(It’s the) three second silence between racking wails of inconsolable tears.
(It’s the) nightly finger-crossing hope-to-whoever that sleep arrives unaccompanied by your presence.
(It’s the) car-seat Houdini.
(It’s the) pantry-hidden stealth eating of chocolate.
(It’s the) not knowing the last time you toileted alone.
(It’s the) monthly thank God there won’t be another one.
(It’s the) breaking up of fights.
(It’s the) sound of unauthorised toaster use that wakes you in the morning.
(It’s the) constant vigilance to protect the cat.
(It’s the) begrudging agreement that you would indeed like their help.
(It’s the) eating of play dough.
(It’s the) desperation of a search for teddy.
(It’s the) creative answers to questions about how Daddy put them inside your belly.
(It’s the) singing of a little song for every little thing.
(It’s the) twelve-hour-a-day on-call-all-night 365 shifts a year.
(It’s the) subtle body contact while you eat.
(It’s the) reading of the same book every single day.
(It’s the) waiting for the batteries to finally die.
(It’s the) toothpaste smeared across the bathroom.
(It’s the) residual fascination with your nipples.
(It’s the) Lego embedded in your foot.
(It’s the) giving in to dirt and resigning yourself to living among a bottomless pile of washing.
(It’s the) constant insatiable wanting of you.
You can reserve seats for the Let-Down Reflex – In Development here.