Sometimes, Dinner Plates Smash on Purpose

What I could not see then,
even during slow walks through backyards,
was the wrath.
I heard shrill sounds travel through kitchen window cracks
as I passed each neighbor’s house,
sounds I recognized as shattering ceramic,
smashed dinner plates, perhaps.
But I, a boy of ten,
assumed it was accidental,
for I had broken a few things by then
and never meant to.
I could not comprehend
why men would break things on purpose,
the piercing roars of fury,
from burned-out suburban fathers who,
after decades of commuting to cities
for deadening careers,
were unable to cope anymore.
I see it now.
Fathers who lack control over their destiny
have one final power move in their depot
to reclaim their presence,
one last rallying cry
to carve a place in history,
planted flags from which the whole world must recover.
It is the power to destroy
and leave wreckage in their wake.

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