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I once found a small eraser
beneath a vending machine;
my dearest treasure
of my earliest days

I lost it when mom moved away
to a scary, smelly city
somewhere south of here

A while before she had gone
I remember waiting in dad’s truck
So unaware;
the frigid air
visible with each exhale

Leftovers of ivory flurries
made rolling hills
of previously level, landscaped lawns

Dad hurriedly marched from her doorstep
Furious footprints left imprinted
in drifted snow dunes
When he slammed the driver’s side door
everything shattered
A tiny cutting avalanche

I wish I could erase that moment

During one of my many visits
to a scary, smelly city
somewhere south of here
I cowered in the kitchen doorway
while mom’s husband
barricaded the front door shut,
and mom howled outside
I choked on air
in silent sobs

Through the little window
I watched her face
contort with livid anger
then her fist
crashing through it
Portions of pristine crystal
exploded
(into as many tears
as I would cry)
It shot into his eyes,
and onto the floor,
and the rest ripped her arm
A raging red river
rained,
drunk,
and unafraid

I wish I could erase that moment

During one of my many visits
to a small, secluded town
somewhere west of here
I heard an all too familiar
crack;
the icy scraping rain
and found my baby sister
frozen near a steaming dishwasher
Its foggy maw dripping scalding water
onto the streaky tiled floor
The vapor clung to the nearby windows
like in a cold old truck
from so long ago,
and water droplets dispersed
like blood
from so long ago
She held half of a glass
the rest scattered all around her
Her eyes were wide,
fearful,
confused

It was too much
I snapped,
“Why do you have to break things?
Don’t you know any better?”

Her features twisted,
blushing deeply as the red river,
tears dotting her eyes;
Although held back,
because of her powerful pride
She coughed out a small sob
still holding half of the broken mug
Her terrified words trembled out
“I’m sorry, sissy,”

Familiar reflection
of a past self
clearer than any mirror,
as effortless to break

Guilt
Regret
Pain
Sharper than all the shards
of splintered panes
sliced my soul,
so I sought solace

I knelt down,
held her to my chest,
And said,

“It’s alright,
we just have to learn
to be more careful.”

I will never forget that moment.



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