My Reaction

I remember my reaction when I first saw her.
So tiny and small,
With her infant skull fitting in my palm.
I held her.
Amazed and awed.
My grandfather now takes his turn
In showing his love to the seventh grandchild.
Seven. Seven lovely girls,
With curls, and smiles, and giggles, and pure hearts.
Seven, that’s a lucky number you know,
I was hoping it would be a sign from you,
That things are getting better.
I really was.

I remember my reaction when I first knew.
I fell to my knees and cries,
Screaming why wasn’t I told.
Waited 'til the last minute and never got to say goodbye
Seeing him laying there in the casket
While seven grandchildren watching him from the side
I kept thinking to myself,
How dare you.
How dare you give us hope?
How dare you lie to us?
How dare you make him suffer instead of going in peace?
How dare you let them make him another statistic?
I prayed every night for him,
I didn’t get to see him.
And the last time I could he was already pale and blue.

I remember my reaction when I knew.
After years of crying,
I was surprised I still had more to shed.
The strangest feeling of walking into her room for the last time
And seeing that she’s no longer there.
Knowing that she is no longer in pain
Doesn’t rid the ache when we see her empty chair at Christmas,
The one right over there.
The grandmother who always winked at me when telling secrets,
Could no longer whisper them to me.

I remember my reaction that year.
There couldn't be anything more scary.
You’re the only one in your family that is relatively healthy
And this is the same age that it all seemed to go a different way
For the woman who is in the bedroom down the hall,
Now forced to use a machine to keep her body
Working somewhat like it should be.
My mother is a strong woman but
I never wanted to end up the same way.
Screams and chills occurred
Before I could even stop them from happening.
Panic rising to its boiling point
And then screeching like a tea pot.
Eighth grade was no joy ride for me.

I remember my reaction when I first knew.
I'm not sure what exactly happened
I'm not even sure they told me right away.
But I remember seeing her smiling face,
Breaking through all the pain.
Of course that was the last image I had of her,
Burned into my mind,
Because I knew I would never see her again.
The wonderfully married couple,
With each other every day.
That makes tales of “love to die for” seem petty
With the lifetime they gained while growing old together
I try to remember a time when he was not by her side,
But it was pointless.
Of course he’s going through this.
Your mercy has never shown in this family.

I remember my reaction when I realized.
How many friends have walked out that door?
And just how many more?
How many more until someone realizes
That the reason I turn my back
Is to face the past I want to grab hold to,
To cling to.
And when no one does,
And I’ve simply had enough.
I curse and mumble as I wipe tears I won’t let anyone see,
That I hate you for
Even making me care
About people who are just going to leave.
Fuck coming into my life for a reason.
What if I wanted them to stay?

I remember my reaction when I first read it.
Rereading and rereading.
Thinking it should all make sense.
But the only thing I can do is;
Point to the sky and say
Fuck you.
Because out of all people I believed most in you.
I prayed to you when I needed help,
When they needed help,
When I needed you.
And every time you’ve failed me.
I hope my reactions where entertaining to you,
I'm sure you have more planned.
You’re cynical in that way.
Rid myself of you,
'Cause you are certainly not what’s keeping me standing now.

So tell me?
What’s your reaction?

Comments

jwiener

This poem is so powerful, and I am sorry that you have had to endure so many difficulties. But it seems that you have remained strong, which is the best thing we can do when something hurts us. Writing poems about your experiences is definitely a great way to express yourself.

Grant-Grey Porter Hawk Guda

Powerful expression. Always let poetry fill your life. Keep expressing your heart.  

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