Monday, January 6, 2014


“Girl, get over here.
You heard me.”

Except I don’t want to hear,
And I don’t want to stay.

And that stench of tobacco and lies
Is falling out of your mouth
Like a musty grave
Opened for the first time in years.

Your hands wrapping around my tiny arms
Fingers like sausages

Let me go
I want to beg,
But I am choking back my tears.

Afraid to disappoint
Afraid to cry
Afraid to exist

Too young to run
I stand quietly
Until spoken to
My heart tucked gently underneath
The soles of my velcro tennis shoes

It’s the only place that you can’t reach
Without getting up.

So I wait
Hand and foot
I deliver each request

Quietly hoping that my mother returns
But she doesn’t, and she won’t
For three days.

But when she does
she will stand over me
Like a makeshift shelter
Letting my heart out for air

Nothing permanent,
But sturdy enough.
And we will make do
In each others company

I just have to get through
These three days.

Until she picks up my shelter
And goes again
To leave me standing
In a place that I don’t want to be

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