Jason Shinder
The Good Son

If God had come to me and said,

if you are willing to forget yourself,


you will find the cure for heart attacks and compose

the greatest symphonies,


I wouldn’t have been sure of my answer.

Because there wouldn’t have been enough


attention to my suffering. And that’s unforgivable.

But I keep on forgiving myself


with God’s love.  And it’s strange I should say this

because my mother died of a heart attack


after months in a hospital room full of a silence

that lodged itself like a stone in her throat.


And she thought I was wonderful


and would do anything for her.

Found In Volume 37, No. 06
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Jason Shinder
About the Author

Jason Shinder was born in Brooklyn in 1955. His books include Every Room We Ever Slept In and Among Women. He was the founder and director of the YMCA National Writer’s Voice. He died of lymphoma on April 25, 2008.