she used to wait

June 12, 2011
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She’ll sit in your room on the floor, your jewelry box in her hands. She’s too young to have her ears pierced, so she’ll just hold your earrings up to herself, admiring the way they glitter in the early morning light. Your necklace she’ll try on, but she can’t seem to secure the clasp, so it’ll dangle. And as for your ring, you took that instead of her.
She won’t sleep in her own room anymore. Your part of the bed is cold, even when she lays there, her small body curling into mine for comfort. It’s still freezing over there.
And I’m driving slowly through the snow to a job I hate. She’s off to school. She gets home before me, sits in our room and plays with your jewelry, tries on your clothes. She’s too small now, but one day she’ll fit beautifully in them. She’ll push her feet into the only pair of high heels you left, as the nanny falls asleep lounging on the couch.
I try to get in touch with you, ask why you left. But you’ve long ago changed your phone number, severed contact from me. I’ve forgotten your laugh but I remember when you had that look on your face, telling me you needed help. You were drowning in your memories, staring at her learning to ride her bike, imaging a different girl, long ago, abused and forgotten.
She’ll sit in our room and read your gardening books, (upside down), trying to be like mommy, put on your glasses and romp around the house.
She’ll stare out the window anxiously, her dolls all cleaned up, her bed all made up for you to praise her. She hasn’t touched her Mac-and-Cheese because we taught her it was polite to wait for everyone to sit down before eating.
But you’re miles from where we are. I’ll lie down on my side of the bed; reach my hand over to yours. It’s cold over there, and I’ve never seen our daughter’s room so clean.





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