You Compromised

My parents promised to be together forever.
But when forever ends,
what happens then?
Do they cease to exist?
The lives they built,
gone?

Do those vows they said
become void?
Does the love they promised to each other
disintegrate?

I’ll tell you what happens.

My mother sits in the kitchen crying,
my father flees.
He flew to the bottle.
The bottle that
drugged him and made the problems seem 
unimportant.
My mother weeps
for the man that has
disappeared. 

And we the children,
we sit in our rooms.
Holding each other.
Holding our pillows tight over
our innocent faces.
Tighter than we should,
but keeping the yelling, screaming, and sobbing
out of our naive, credulous minds.

I have to pull the soaked pillow
away from my brother’s face.
The tears leaving wet tracks on his cheeks.
He’s so young.
Young people shouldn’t have to worry.
Worry about s*** like this.
?
Why can’t they see what this is doing to us?
Is it not obvious?
We don’t laugh anymore.

As the perpetual time stops,
my dad sinks deeper.
Deeper into that
small, crowded hole.
Stretching  it out, 
until it is roomy, and comfortable. 

He forgets all the important things,
the foul smell of bile and alcohol,
trailing behind him
in dark,
wispy
strands.

When I trail behind him,
I get shooed away.
What happened to the
unconditional love?

And my mom?
she wonders,
‘How could he forget me?
What happened to that forever?
To those vows we said so long ago?’

You compromised.
For the happiness that was short lived.
Convincing yourself that
it would get better in the end.
But you still compromised.

Words that fly like daggers.
Parents standing outside on the porch.
“It’s your fault!”
“This isn’t the life I wanted”
“You’re talking bullshit.”
Unaware of the little faces
Pressed up against the open window.
The fighting never ends,
and we the children...
The scars aren’t only on our hearts.

My parents promised to be together forever.
But when forever ends,
what happens then?
Do they cease to exist?
The lives they built,
gone?

Do those vows they said
become void?
Does the love they promised to each other
disintegrate?

All this happened,
because they compromised.
Forcing themselves to
believe in marriage,
not because it’s their dream,
but because it was their mothers’ dreams.

My parents promised to be together forever.
But when forever ended,
the eternal promise became the eternal compromise.





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