Guilt

Location

I'll come right out and say it--

I envy you.

Your ability to

Leave it all behind, and

Escape

To where nobody can touch you.

Where everything is silent, save for your whispers and mutterings under your breath.

Pacing back and forth across the dingy patch of brown grass we call a lawn,

The twigs you twirl between your thumbs and the leaves you rub between the pads of your fingertips:

Your only solace.

I wish I could be your mirror image,

Your twin on days like today

Where you could be in a concrete parking lot and still find beauty in

The dwarfed blades of grass, malnourished by gasoline and diesel fumes, struggling to grow out of cracks in the pavement,

Or the yellow lines that crisscross the asphalt like scars…

You see in scenes like this, the beauty I see in stars.

 

But then, when you lift your shirt, I see what you hid from mom-

The bruises that blossom across your shoulder blades

From when you were shoved, mercilessly, into the bank of lockers conveniently hidden from a prying teacher's eye.

And I know how easy you must think I have it.

Your scars, much like the ones in that parking lot,

are etched across the back of your calves-

from when they threw stones at the back of your bare legs,

and all I could do was act as if it hadn’t happened while I was pretending not to notice.

But truly, if I had known that those twigs, and those leaves, and that grass that you alone had given a second chance, were the only friends that you had,

Maybe I would have listened better

When you came to me

And tugged on my shirtsleeves

And asked

For my help.

 

 

 

 

 

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