No one had told me. I walked without thought
on whether my sneakers touched cracks or not.
My dear mom writhing with a shattered back!
Her skin drooping slackly, her toes turning black!
But once I had heard of the cracks’ awful power, I placed my feet gingerly. Each step made me cower.
One morning, not watching, I tripped on a crack.
My god, I had broken my own mother’s back!
I’d save her from suffering. I’d make the pain cease.
I’d caused it. I’d stop it. I could grant her release.
Between there and home, I stomped all the lines,
exploding them all like long-distance mines.
I ran in the house and searched for remains.
Mom was under the sink, cleaning the drains.
I was all set to cry, my face was tragic.
But Mom was alive. My world wasn’t magic.
By Andrew Hudgins, from Shut Up, You’re Fine: Poems for Very, Very Bad Children, New York: The Overlook Press, 2009, pg. 25