Provisional Conclusions

poems about ADHD, grief, and some of life's other little struggles
by Mike Fedel

SEPTEMBER 15, 1998 – 1:18 A.M.

Last night, just after midnight, I found myself
wandering in the playground
at Eberwhite Elementary School.

I learned some things.

I learned that it’s pointless to stand there
in the dark calling your kid’s name
when you know she’s been killed.

She won’t answer.

She won’t come.

She won’t put down the ball,
tell her buddies goodbye,
and run over to your car.

She won’t grumble
and ask for "just five more minutes."

She won’t complain that it isn’t fair that she has to
stop playing with her friends just to go pick up her
pesky little sister.

She won’t ask you to walk back into the school building
with her to get her backpack or let her make a quick
trip to the toilet.

She won’t jump up and throw her arms around your neck,
wrap her legs around you and yell "daddy!"

She won’t say "I know you’re going to say no, but can
I go play at Fumika’s house when we get home?"

She won’t jump into the front seat and say "Papa, guess
what we did today!" or "Papa, guess what Julia (or Marie
or Calyn) told me today!" or even "Papa, what does it mean
when you ‘give someone the finger’?"

None of this will happen.

You’ll just stand there
feeling a little too cold,
with the light from the building shining
just a little too bright.

You’ll feel stupid and
over-dramatic and self-indulgent
for standing there
with tears and snot
dripping down your face
calling the name
of a child