Monday, November 15, 2010

I hate you

My dad had left by the time I was three.
You must have known that already.
Why else would you choose the daughter
of a single mother, with an infant son?

While you are surely dead now,
I can still smell the stink of those
nasty fondant filled licorice you enticed me with.
I cringe when I see them in the candy shop.
I still hate greenhouses and cacti.
No wonder I hated Arizona.
I still feel those old calloused hands on
places they never should have touched.

Did you know, that on that day,
you singlehandedly shaped the rest of my life
more than any parent, counselor or teacher ever could?
You showed me I was not safe.
You showed me not to trust.

I stopped washing and brushing my teeth.
I slept under heavy woolen quilts,
even when it was August.

I didn’t go visiting friends.
I didn’t want friends.
Friends could not be trusted.
They hurt you. They hurt your children.

I hate you. I hate what you’ve done to me.
I hate that I worry all the time.
I hate that I have to lock my doors and windows in a ritualistic manner.
I hate feeling dirty and used.
I hate feeling un-normal.

I just want to be normal.
And just when I begin to feel normal
something happens, and I know that I’m not.

I hate that I’m not.
I hate that there’s something wrong with me
I hate that there’s something about me, that draws you in.
I hate that I can’t see that until it’s too late.

I hate that you go on living in my memories, when you should be dead,
and I feel dead, when I should be living.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

creative writing

When we were young, when we first became a family, I gave you a pretty silver ring--a bright and shiny Claddagh. Birds and cherry blossoms were in the air when I placed it on your finger, with all the promises that the giving of a ring entails. And you looked at me with love, and I held you tight.
“Never forget how much I love you.”
She smiled and said,
“I won’t.”
While autumn leaves fell, when we were a little older, you handed me the ring I gave you in our youth.
“It doesn’t fit me anymore. I’d like a better one. A bigger one…a fancier one. Everyone I know has a gold one.”
And so I went, off in search of a newer, fancier, golden claddagh.
The jeweler looked at me, sighed and said, “You never can keep them happy for long.”
And so I gave her the new, fancy golden ring. The silver ring of our youthful love went inside my keepsake box on the shelf.
When you gave me back that ring, that golden one, that fancy golden one, no longer new, but still given with the love and devotion that comes with the giving of rings, I asked:
“Why are you unhappy with this ring? I have given you my love, my devotion, my loyalty and trust? Everything that this ring represents has been yours, and more. What more do you want? What will make you happy?
And she said, “The ring doesn’t fit anymore. I can’t be yours anymore. I want to be free. I want to be free with him.”
And that’s when she walked out the door, with her boots crunching through the snow, and she climbed onto the back of a motorcycle, behind the man in the black leather coat, speeding off into the snowy road.

The silver ring still sits in my keepsake box. It looks small there. It, and all the promises that the giving of rings implies, is tarnished, neglected and ruined.
When my husband asks me why I look at this blackened ring so often, I tell him:
“I still miss my daughter.”