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A Letter of Apology
Black beads on a necklace slide through my fingers
As I contemplate your life, or rather,
All I don’t know about it.
It’s not my fault, really,
That I don’t know if you had a happy childhood,
Or how you met your husband,
Or your favorite color,
I never knew you,
You never knew me.
As I hear the older members of the family talking
About your marriage
Or the way you raised your children
Or the kinds of clothes you wore,
I can’t help the feelings of
I berate myself for never asking, never filling in the gaps,
Only picking up the scraps from what others happened to say.
I feel responsible for your memory,
I carry your name,
Maybe even your struggles, if I only knew what they were.
Yet I leave that responsibility to those older, wiser,
What right do I have to understand you?
Our lives never touched,
I am too young
Too young to have my head filled with misery of one
I never knew.
Your life was tragic, from what I’ve heard,
Filled with sadness and shattered dreams,
And it’s sensitive,
Something that fills the room with cold and the color gray
Something that needs to be discussed just enough
So that it isn’t fully forgotten.
I see the anxiety and long buried bitterness
Toward those select guilty members
Dredged up from the depths of the mind
Reflecting in the eyes,
And I’m afraid to press the matter,
Afraid of stirring up problems so carefully avoided for so long.
I am young.
These matters don’t concern me.
But I need to ask,
To discover the story before it is too late,
Before those that knew you become only a memory
Except will your memory no longer exist,
Just these black beads, sliding through my fingers,
Forever reminding me of what is lost
And will never be found.