How Ridiculous That I Am by Kim Hooper

Kim Hooper is the author of six novels, including People Who Knew Me, which was adapted into an episodic podcast from BBC Sounds.

How Ridiculous That I Am

by Kim Hooper

This morning, I fought
with my daughter about
her refusal to take another
bite of vanilla-flavored
Greek yogurt while, a world
away, other mothers fought
for their children to live
another day.

On that small strip
of land, two million people
wait on death row, sentenced
to terror for the crime
of existing. Half of them,
children. So many
children. One killed every
ten minutes, the headline
reads. The post below it—a
joke about the inconvenience
of the end of Daylight Savings.

Dawg it feel like it’s 14pm.

I laugh and then wonder how
such a thing is possible—
how can any human being laugh
now, or ever again?
I am stressed about jury duty
and the Santa Ana winds making
my eyes burn and the dog-sitting
I shouldn’t have agreed to and
the school closure on Veterans Day
when I have to work at my job,
spending hours on Zoom calls
about how to better sell
expensive beauty products
to women who feel inadequate
without them.

How ridiculous that I am
capable of stress when there are
no airstrikes here, no bombs
dropping like meteors from the sky,
when I have food and water
and shelter and the basic
assurance that my daughter
and I will be alive tomorrow.

How ridiculous that I am
capable of brushing my teeth
and taking my vitamins and
bookmarking pad thai recipes
without sobbing about
the chubby baby arms
sticking out of rubble.

How ridiculous that I am,
when so many are not.

Tonight, we will watch
Fancy Nancy and lick popsicles
and I will tell her a bedtime
story about unicorns and
magic and think about
all those children, so many
children, who will never believe
in unicorns or magic
because even if they live,
they’ve seen too much
to believe in anything.

I will let my daughter sleep
with me and she will pull
all the sheets to her side and
I will wake up cold, perturbed.
How ridiculous that I am
anything but overjoyed to
watch her sleeping face,
mouth open, eyelashes fluttering.
How ridiculous that I am
anything less than grateful
for the warmth of her body,
the smell of her hair—fruity
from the detangler spray.

How ridiculous that I am,
when so many are not.

###

Kim Hooper is the author of six novels, including People Who Knew Me, which was adapted into an episodic podcast from BBC Sounds. She lives in southern California with her daughter and too many pets.

Author: Every Writer

This is about me

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