Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Challenge Bed

by Kevin Kinsella

One of my daughter's therapists told me
she was glad her work was challenging.
Because if it wasn't challenging,
she would likely be bored and unhappy.
So when I told her that I felt otherwise,
that I would rather that she be bored
and if not unhappy then less happy
and certainly less challenged
than she seemed to be with my daughter,
she disagreed vigorously, insisting
life is too short to avoid the tough stuff,
that she liked going home to her husband
and telling him about the challenges of her day,
Because who wants to hear about how easy it was?
And that was one of the things he loved about her,
that she liked to be challenged so much,
that she never shrunk away from a challenge,
never took the easy way out and, believe me,
he is quite a challenge himself.
But she wouldn't have it any other way,
because It's not about where you want to go
it's about the bus you take there. You know?
Then I imagined how wonderful their life must be – 
the two of them slipping into bed together:
He turning to her, whispering, How was your day?
She, welcoming his challenging yet tender embrace,
Terrific, I met a little girl who can't walk.

photo by Micaela Walker

Kevin Kinsella is a freelance writer and poet. His work has appeared in/on The Believer Magazine, Bomb Magazine, Tarpaulin Sky Magazine, Pif Magazine, and 2River View," among others. He is the translator (from Russian) of Sasha Chernyi's "Poems from Children's Island" (Lightful Press) and Osip Mandelstam's "Tristia" (Green Integer Books).

Micaela Walker is a photographer and freelance photo editor who has worked for Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Allure, Lucky, Black Ink, Departures, Food + Wine, The Women’s Refugee Commission, Nomad-Chic, and the Go Vap Orphanage in Vietnam.  Her blog is roan and lula.  She serves on the board at Extreme Kids & Crew.