Mommy Issues

Each morning he hears woodpeckers
pecking away in the neighborhood.
It’s like a wakeup call. He wonders
if woodpeckers ever get headaches
from all that pecking. He thinks about
the crows and blue jays cawing in his
backyard, presumably to scare away
other species so they might have the
arboretum/aviary all to themselves.
He wonders if they ever get headaches
from all the cawing. He’s wondering
because he has a four-day old head-
ache, something he only gets every six
months. That’s when his long, dead
mother visits in the six-month recitation
of items from the great catalogue of “You
Failed.” He no longer hears the other
voice. He only hears reverberating echoes
from the past brought into the present. In
Holy Communion that’s called anamnesis.
In the heavenly backyard it’s called hell
and he has a four-day old headache from
stupidly, repetitively, screaming no, no,
no since as a two-day-old he was brought
home from the hospital by his mother.

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