The First Checkup After My Mother Died
The doctor noticed me fidgeting with my ears
like a toddler, and asked if he could look at them.
Yes, I told him, they had been bothering me,
and I didn’t know why.
After the examination, he asked if I had been
through something traumatic recently—
a breakup, or a loss of a job. Yes, I told him,
not wanting to explain. How did you know?
Well, he told me, this type of infection
is most commonly among people who have
gotten in a pattern of holding back tears.
If you don’t allow those tears to drain the way
they are supposed to, they stay inside, cause a lot of pain.
Do you think this is what’s happening to you? he asked.
Yes, I nodded,
and held back my tears.