was the year psychobabble and Cognitive Behavior Therapy
both made the pages of Merriam Webster’s Dictionary,
and my dad re-married.
My new word that summer in the backyard
of our new two-story house was hammock—
it had give, it made room for me.
At nine, I could pull it around me
like a cocoon and go slack.
I was invisible when my dad
kicked words like sand in her eyes,
You know who the problem is?
You’re the problem!
I’m sick of your psychobabble—
put a sock in it, will ya?
They had shut the door
to the new screened-in porch,
so my brother and I wouldn’t hear.
(but I heard, in my cocoon)
What am I—your drudge, your babysitter?
I know why you married me, I’m no idiot.
Those kids don’t even know how to make a bed;
she never taught them, and now it’s my job?
I learned cognitive behavior therapy
three decades after the summer
I became a stepchild.
With this delicate tool,
I reshape my lens and see true.
CBT fits my mind like a felt tip pen fits my hand—
it has give, it makes room for me.
June 25, 2020
Previously published in The Huron River Review.
Amy Higgins facilitates a virtual Friends and Family support group for Washtenaw Community College students. Upcoming meeting times are:
- Thursday, June 24, 4:30-6pm
- Thursday, July 22, 4:30-6pm
- Thursday, August 19, 4:30-6pm