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Morning Goodbyes

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The warmth of tender feelings
coursing through her soft hand
the flash of a natural smile,
a quick squeeze
the laughter of children
and the smell of warm banana
mom's sizzling hot pan
her swollen belly
dad in the doorway,
glowing in his bright blue flannel
his leathery touch
on my fresh pink legs
hoisting me onto the counter
swinging size two soft feet
to the beat of the cheerful radio
with my nature bleached curls
tucked behind my ears
the grain of the table on my skin
the feel of chocolate on my smile
a breath of love
happiness swirled with
friendly morning sunlight
a fresh kiss on the forehead.

The last flickering light bulb
looming above the lopsided table in uncomfortable silence
breathing despair, staring at her,
not even wishing for a response
kindness does not exist
in this forsaken house
the fevered whimper of an infant boy looking for a hint of love
the faint ding
of a local dump toaster
dad in the driveway with his
wretched horn, every Saturday
the scruffy hair
the same dingy stained clothes
a floor covered
in needles and pills
i grab the blackened bread as she glares at me, about him
my duffel goes over a shoulder and she scoops up the baby
and holds him tight,
he is her everything
“monday” she sighs, looking through me with those hollow eyes
i give her an empty hug
and kiss his burning forehead
the door slams shut
at the storm’s command
the wind carrying to my weary ears
“i love you”.



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