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Roles We Play

By Jeremiah K Durick

PROMPT—Privilege ...

I remember his helpful phase,

they all must go through it.

Little more than a toddler he

wanted to do the work we did –

dishes, vacuuming, raking and

anything else we were doing.

I remember being patient, knew

it wouldn’t last, he’d grow out

of it with surprising speed, like

growing out of his clothes and

of course he did. But now things

have changed. He’s out there

pressure washing the house. He

seems impatient trying to get me

to follow his instructions, our roles

reversed now. I’ll never outgrow

this, he has work to do and I’m

now the toddler in the way trying

to be helpful. He’s going to paint

the shutters, takes them down

twice as fast as I ever could. I feel

like the bewildered child as my son

assumes his new place in the family.

I remember him as a child always

meaning to help but usually in the way

like I am today


J. K. Durick is a retired writing teacher and online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Literary Yard, Black Coffee Review, Kitchen Sink, Synchronized Chaos, Madswirl, Journal of Expressive Writing, and Highland Park Poetry.


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