Forsaken

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Then he didn't mail that check.
He says my mom will spend it all on herself.
She never does.

It’s for groceries, and needed T-shirts, and school supplies.
But he wouldn’t know.
He lives up North, in the state that looks like a boot.
Away from us.

Most of my friends have divorced parents too.
But they all get to see their dads.

Or even if they don’t;
Their dads act like fathers.

Mine is childish.
And sneaky.
Mine is afraid.

He thinks that the world is out to get him.
And has him pinned into a corner.
But it’s not.

And then I remember,
My mom.
Her voice screeching hateful things towards my father.

These words have rolled off her tongue many times before.
But they always find a way,
to slip inside and dent my heart.

I’m perching right next to her.
I study her face.
She seems sick, more like sick of my father.
No more than a slab of pallid skin,
a listless expression carved into the crooks of her appearance.
With sad eyes.


Then, I glance at my brother.
Shuffling and slouched about the yard as usual.
His presence is solemn, and the corners of his mouth are turned down.
The bleakness is guarded by the protection of smokey eyes and droopy hair.

I suppose he’s learned to tone out the cries of my mother.
A skill, I would like to master myself.
But instead they speed through my veins,
forming heavy rainclouds in my mind that are going to let loose.

The sadness.
The hate.
It’s all just too much.
Too much to mask in a wanted smile.

I can hear him stutter through the phone.
Now is not the time for excuses.
It never has been.
But they won’t stop coming.

Then he mutters the words,
that make me feel empty the most.

Through the muffled static of the phone, I can barely make out the sentence;
“She is just like me.”
It makes me cringe.
My face twists up.
And I feel myself, slowly, being pinned up, into a corner.





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