Terrible Cries

The roar of the underground
subway drowns out your
baby’s terrible and annoying
cries

All I can scream in
my head is
“Shut up!”
“Shut.
Up.”

What is it about your cries
that curls my blood
makes my skin crawl
turns my peace to dust
and a favorable memory?

And just as I’ve completed
my previous line
I’ve failed to realize
and it’s only now
that I don’t hear his cries
and the once terrible mother
wins the medal for
“Getting the kid to stop”–

Still the odor pervades,
the stench of death
and bad breath
fills my nostrils
as I bury my head
in my black, wool scarf–

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