Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saying No

Go ahead and ask me
Tell me you are really pressed
That students need the course
That you will pay me extra
That you will be eternally grateful
If I take that extra class
(Or maybe two?)

Call me
Tell me how you've missed me
Tell me that you need me
That you need a listening ear
A helping hand
A night out
Without your kids

Write me an e-mail
Asking when I'm coming to visit
For the millionth time
And bringing the kids
(Or leaving them at home)
And showing up, with brownies
Plus my warm and happy personality
To brush things over
Between you and your spouse
(Who's always nicer when I'm there)

Tell me you love me
Or at least that you need me
To love you
So that you feel better
About all that you have done wrong in your life
About all the mistakes you've made
Even towards me

Tell me you're sorry
That you'll make it all better in the end
That I'm terrific
But you just need me to be
One more time
One more semester
One more day

Go on
You can do it
Go ahead and ask.

I can take it.
I've learned to say no.


  1. I love you, kiddo. I don't need anything from you, but I'd like you to be happy.

  2. "No" is the most precious word in the busy mother's vocabulary. It may be often aimed at her children, but it is much better placed at the world around her.

  3. It's a start up that there wall. No to all the distractions. Should I collide with you? I visited with two friends, picked up dinner and I wrote 5 pieces and edited 20,000 words and sold 2 more copies of STINK in the past 24 hours. How you may ask...No I ain't going to tell you.

  4. Stephanie, this is NOT about you at all. Your poem I'm writing today.

    The Mother, I couldn't agree more. The one group I'm not saying no to right now is my kids. Let summer be summer!

    Walking Man, you are on a roll! Now if I could just get going more. I've made some preliminary plans... now to start shredding novel one into 5 or 6 pieces (while still writing poems, of course)...

  5. I didn't think it was. I just wanted you to know.

  6. Having the strength to say NO is liberating.