Instead of playing house I used to play home.
From the age of four I never questioned the perfection
of the woman in white that hung near my bed
and beamed her approval with a face that mirrored my own.
Striving to embody the framed bride
I tangled myself in lace
my face, held a look of bliss and the hint of mud
my parents would revel
at their picturesque daughter
twisted in white
and urge me,
Six bright candles marked the onward march of time
a kitchen set supplying
Plastic biscuits and everlasting eggs
my breakfast was best
my mother can attest-
when she sat at the tiny wooden table
knees knocking against the top
I made her family feasts
and she nodded,
I started a symphony at age ten,
The Beatles were my back up
twist and shout down penny lane
eight days a week the world was my stage
my parents eyes-
and their smiles-
The paths their eyes would wander
as their palms would find each other
with fingertips lacing together
I knew love was force worth singing about.
Yet it was never a force to be trusted.
Thirteen years old and the family frames are skewed.
A foreboding forecast upon his slumped shoulders
my father leads the family to the living room
where we feel like dying
yet my mother's eyes were pleading,
The salty tsunami that crusaded my insides
leaked from my eyes
father fled to the door
and to the floor, a family photo crashed
the glass shattered
and scattered to the corners to find refuge in dust
and to closets to comforted by skeletons.
I swear even the plastic food of my childhood kitchen set
tasted better than my mother's best lasagna that night.
Untangling my hopes from the yards of white sheets,
I watch my mother place wedding photos one by one in a tattered box.
Its funny the different shapes that a coffin can take.
Yet forgiveness does not breathe when buried six feet under.
As a child I played home because my house fit no frame
the past of my parents may have smeared my wedding dress with dirt
but I refuse to hang it in the closet with skeletons.
I pricked my fingers upon the shards of shattered family photos
because someone had to pick up the pieces
because someone had to
And I live to play on
And one I will don
a twisted mess of white lace
and face the ghost of my parents fleeting love
because I was taught
that when struggles scratch at home's door,
you play home,
and you play on.
Mud upon my dress,
no blood on my hands,
I stand with glass between my toes dancing in lost love's graveyard,