I love you, I do

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 01:33 -- Wassles

 

she’s rewriting my childhood

 

I remember your bedtime stories—

ad-libbed and unscripted

I remember the folk music—

for a pocket full of mumbles such are promises

I remember the coffee addiction—

yours, which soon became mine, too

and I remember the drives to elementary school—

the talks we had about anti-Semitism and European history

and I tried so hard to keep up with you

 

but she tells me now that none of this ever happened

 

I wanted you to be the one to hold my hand

to walk me into kindergarten

take me to the airport for my first flight alone

move me into my first apartment

 

but she wouldn’t let you

 

I was her little girl

not yours not yours

 

she told us you were too busy

for us and for her

 

and she’s rewriting my childhood

 

why haven’t you divorced her

I wanted you to divorce her when I was ten

I was ten and I wanted you to divorce her

 

why do you lie

to yourself

to me

and to her—

especially

to me

and to her

but your lies never match

never do they equate

and you’re caught

you’re caught in your own shame

 

why did you consciously make your life secondary

and allow hers to override

why do you nod your head and say, ok

it’s not ok       it’s not ok        it is not ok

 

I hate you—

I hate that you don’t get angry with her

I hate the sound of your shuffling feet when she ridicules you  

I hate your slumped shoulders when she screams

I hate your silent eyes when she tells you you’re lazy

No—

you work harder than she ever has

giving the children you were never allowed to spend time with

 

everything they wanted

everything we wanted

 

we walked all over you

took your money

and berated you

took your money and berated you

because she deemed it okay

 

and she tells you

she’s raised wonderful human beings

wonderful, successful human beings

but terrible, ungrateful children—

and ornery children,

are the direct result of a weak father

 

how does that make you feel?

it’s all

your fault

 

you didn’t even begin to know me until I was sixteen

when she began losing her control

because I had turned into a person she didn’t like—

I wasn’t quiet

I wasn’t submissive

I wasn’t her

 

she loved me but she didn’t like me

she loves you but she doesn’t like you

 

and I know

you’ll never read this poem

but if you do,

you might be angry.

 

you might be defensive

you might be hurt

you might even be crying

but

it is ok

 

I think you should know

that I do love you

I love you so much

and that I’ve never told you—

because I’m afraid of what she might say if she heard me

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