Shattered

They are small, black, and almost webbed. The things the beautiful technician, in her thick mask and black gown, sticks on his head. On his curly, always unruly, head of hair. The glue is thick – Like paste, like chalk, like this is happening to someone else’s child. Not mine.

He is small – clutching his book about trucks that go “vrooom” – and he is tired. I am tired. We are tired. She wraps white gauze around his head while I try to read him the silly book. He screams. He tries to get off the hospital bed but all the wires in different colors hold him down. My beautiful boy.

I whisper in his ear. I tell him all of our secrets and happy things but he is scared. He grabs the wires, flips himself around, pulls them. Pulls his hair. I try to stop him. I try.

He finally falls asleep and we are holding hands. And I can cry then. My white mask is soon wet and I can feel him jerk, his arms and his legs, and his eyes flutter. I can see the technician. I see her take notes. Hit keys.

I look at my boy. I memorize his face again. I see the wires. I think of my Grandmother. I pray, though I am not religious. I ask her to make sure my boy will be okay. I miss her.

When the technician wakes him up he screams. Tears running down his face. She flashes bright lights in his beautiful eyes and he looks at me, the glue matted in his hair, and he screams “mama mama mama out out out.”

I am broken. Shattered. Twisted like the fucking wires. But he is mine and I am his and I will wash the glue out of his hair. I will cry while writing this. I will cry in bed. I will cry.