Baby Photos (Day 14)

can you see it
in the eyes
even then
before they grow
hair or teeth,
while they wear
cartoon onesies
and play with
wooden blocks
the way they will
one day manipulate
terrified people–
placing them just so
then knocking them down
in a fit of sadistic laughter?

some proud mother
wept with joy holding
John Wilkes Booth,
fed him from her breast,
chose his name carefully
took him to Sunday School
and prayed at bedtime
that he would grow
strong and wise
only to recoil in horror
decades later at
sic semper tyranis
the moment that killed
a president and her hopes

did Charles Whitman’s mom
ever sense something amiss
while she watched her son
toddle around the kitchen
asking for sweets
or did she hold on
to optimism
even as he
plunged his knife
into her heart?
he claimed in a note
the police found later
it was to spare her the pain
of learning he’d climbed
a clock tower with a rifle
and killed a dozen strangers
so was he a good son after all?

Jeffrey Dahmer’s parents
kept photo albums
just like everyone else
just like Jeffrey kept
a severed head in the fridge
when he was thirty
and they threw birthday parties
as if the monster’s life
filled them with pride
because in those days
it did



About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in best-laid plans, family, history, NaPoWriMo, people, poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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