The Tower Journal

Lindsay Diem

The Secret

I never thought about killing myself
until I imagined losing my daughter
to some horrible disease

seeing her deteriorate
like I did my father-
for eight years of his life

it was something my 23 year old self
would take years to process
and even at 33, I still feel damaged

My psychiatrist would contribute
these thoughts to the "what if’s"
that encompass my anxiety disorder

still, I run my fingers over her body each night
checking for inconsistencies, scrapes-lumps

I twirl tiny locks of her fine hair
as she forcefully jabs her fingers
on the IPad

obsessively searching for the “potty” video
she loves on You Tube
an inhabitant of her mama’s OCD

my husband tells me she will be fearful of the world
of sickness
of taking risks

my small, fierce girl
I am not worried-

you are a force to be reckoned with
don’t they know?

Copyright © 2016 Lindsay Diem

Lindsay Diem is a high school English teacher, and a mother to a very spirited two year old. She has previously published work in The Front Porch Review, The Quail Bell Magazine, The Bitchin Kitsch, Anti-Heroin Chic and on the blog Raising Mothers. The poem "The Secret" was originally published in The Bitchin Kitsch.

The Tower Journal
Winter  2016