Your father left me
for dead with soiled
larynx on his 1960s Green carpet.
I laid there limp
tears destined to preserve me I cried for you I
screamed Mommy until I passed out. Yearning
your presence cradled me until I was 9.
Then at 12
I spoke through an eroding esophagus
a belly on fire from secrets
a compressed throat
a murmurous heart––
I told you what happened.
Silence befell you.
did what you could only do
as the frightened abused little girl
trapped inside an inflated body
of comforting blubber and dark sagging skin.
You were so scared.
Your lips shivered.
You froze for the next 10 years.
But you have such a loquacious tongue
when avoiding grief. You tested my
unwavering love with muteness¬¬.
You ripped me out pulled me up
I was once a dutiful daughter!
I am merely a bouquet of hydrangeas
slowly languishing in the autumn wind
stranded without water.
I love you.
Even after you
continued to devour a
pyramid of marshmallow coated
roasted yams mash potatoes
cranberries seasoned stuffing
and slices of baked turkey
when seated sandwiched between
me and him.
Following the family’s Thanksgiving prayer
bite after bite I lost appetite I began to purge.
Your taciturnity devalued me.
Your swollen tongue
nearly broke my dignity
I love you.
You tried to protect me¬––
shielding her daughter
from catcalls and whistles.
cursing grown men
on street corners for staring too long
yearning to comb
her daughter’s 12-year-old curves.
your silence made you a bystander
after I said your father molested me.
I must help you
never stop loving you.
You easily feel unheard
Your lungs tighten. Your voice drops.
You talk in circles.
I remind you to breathe.
And although I wish
I could wrest your karma
Your hair thins in loneliness
and your blood clots in worries.
I see you. I forgive you.
I hold my Truth
regardless if you hold mine too.