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  • Melissa

Five Minutes

Updated: Feb 20, 2022




It’s not that I don’t want to hear what you have to say. It's not that I don’t want to hover over your sweet forms and observe every line that you draw. It’s not that I don’t want to hear you out and patiently answer your uninterrupted stream of questions.


It’s just that my brain is so crammed with stuff and so absolutely noisy that I can’t hear you above the chatter. And with each note louder you shout and the more insistent you become, the screaming in my brain goes up a decibel, soon reaching my ears and rattling my balance. And my resilience is so razor-thin that it’s just going to burst from all the static and noise, and yes, from a tap.


I just stayed your hand as you were stroking my face, your entreaty for some physical affection, but I did it not because I don’t want your soft skin to make contact with mine, not because I don’t want to hold you tight, but because I can’t even hold up against the whisper of your breath. My skin is that thinly stretched.


You all want me today, and you’re not even whiny. You’re all excited, happy, wanting to share the joy brimming from your very beings. But I can’t receive it. Every jostle entirely unmoors me. Every cry of mommeee, every demand of MA!, every sweet inquiry of mommy? ricochets in my brain already so pulsating with energy that the very walls of my skull tremble.


I go into my room. Just for a minute to clear some of this static, but you’re rattling at the door. You’re calling, and the battle I’ve been fighting all day, the wits I’ve been keeping about me are dangerously close to being lost.


And then like marbles rolling in every direction, my innards will tumble out, and I’m not sure who will mother you, dear kids.


So I settle you at play and escape to my room again.

And you knock, again, more insistent.


Five minutes, I say through slats of eyes at the crack of the door.

Five minutes, I beg through my teeth, clenched because I’m going to stay at the right side of sane today.

I shut you out not because I don’t want to spend this happy hour with you, not because I don’t want you to revel in the joy of being mommied.


But because I must clear some space in my tumultuous brain for you.

I must breathe through the dizziness so I can stay upright.

I must close my eyes and clear the shooting stars so that soon, I could see you.


Five minutes, please?


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