Zia Hassan

Vaccinating My Son

I'm close up on your face when they
put the needle in your thigh.

Our eyes are locked, and yours become
stretched into two tiny slits
that ooze and moan and hem and haw
that scream aloud to tell me that
You weren't expecting this today.

You look at me as if to say:
"How could you let them in this way?
How could you let them prick my skin?
How could you let them hold me down?
And look, you're helping hold my hands
Complying with all their demands
And helping them pull down my pants
To stab me in the leg!
Legs that I have yet to use!
If they are monsters? So are you."

And I smile back as if to say:
"You'll thank me for this choice one day.
Your days are filled with milk and toys,
Your life a scale of sorrows, joys,
and this exception, this injection,
may appear to be out of the blue,
but it's meant to tend to
your 'gentle warrior' --
it puts some fight inside of you."

And while I'm writing monologues
you haven't heard a word I've thought.

I analyzed the thing by force
I should've let it run its course.

The quick way to defuse a bomb
is driving through
the storm
before the calm.