Nov 06
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Six Things I Loved About Thomas

This poem does not articulate my opinions on this specific issue. It is from the perspective of a mother whose son was killed in a school shooting, talking to the mother of the shooter. It raises an important question: whose fault is it? 

Six Things I Loved About Thomas:
1. He was never afraid to be honest. Sometimes, I mean it was brutal.
Thomas do you like my dress? No mom you look fat. 
Well okay then. No dinner for you. Or me.
2. He liked to paint his nails.
When he turned five, he picked out my dark purple nail polish.
That didn’t surprise me- he was never afraid to be himself.
What did surprise me- when he came home with a girlfriend at 15.
Key word: girl. That didn’t last long.
He was out of the closet by 16.
In drag by 17.
3. He was never ashamed to have me as a mother.
I had him when I was just 16.
I was scared for myself
But mostly scared for him
That I wouldn’t be the mother he needed.
4. I loved how close we were.
I would go to every single one of his ball games, his plays
Even chaperone his school dances
I think deep down he had some respect for my dance skills.
5. We had these after school chats every day after school.
I’d wait at the kitchen table with two Cokes and a bag of baby goldfish
If it’s mini sized, Thomas would say, it tastes better than the original.
He’d tell me every single detail of his day.
5.5. I’d just like to establish
I never expected myself to be a good mother
But Thomas- he was easy
I just had to be there for him
I just had to love him
So tell me, why were you not there for your son?
How could you not have known?
How could you let him walk out of your house in the morning with an intent to kill?
What did you do to raise a son so sick?
Thomas didn’t deserve death
None of those kids did
But your son- I’m happy he’s gone
That he can’t go on hurting people the way he did
And you- you should be ashamed of yourself
For raising a son to be a murderer
For letting him think that this world is a battleground
Do you know how it feels to sit every day at the time he would usually come home
Waiting waiting for someone who’s not going to come
It’s not that hard to be a good mother.
6. He would have wanted me to forgive you.
Thomas was caring, loving, had compassion
And he would have wanted me to comfort you
To say it's not your fault
But I can’t say that I can

 
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