Almost Child By: Nelia-Sol White
Sometimes I’d wake up, bleary-eyed and slightly riled,
And you’d already be gone, carried away by some
Childish, boisterous, unwanted hallucination.
Or, perhaps, insomnia. One of those, always.
Sometimes I’d be able to hear you,
Moving about like a fly trying to find an exit.
But I wouldn’t go near you
I learned that the first time.
So, I’d rise and throw on that one shirt you liked,
The one that made me feel happy too,
And I’d amble down the stairs to make you breakfast:
Scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and coffee.
Sometimes in the early morning light I’d see it,
That slightly raised patch of skin at my arm,
Pink instead of a sun kissed tan. I’d
Remember. You shouted, you cried,
Yelled at me, blamed me for her death
Even though it was neither of our faults.
And then I was in pain, blood spilling from my arm
Just as it had been between your legs.
I’d hear you coming down the stairs, heavy steps
And heavy sighs and I’d look away from my arm
And over at you, tears in your eyes and clothes terribly askew.
You’d sit down silently and sip the coffee I had laid out for you.
Sometimes you’d comment on the birds chirping outside or the weather
And other times you’d be like this, docile and passive.
I wouldn’t mention anything,
Instead asking if you’d wanted breakfast.
And sometimes you’d say yes.