Memories That Aren’t Your Own but Haunt You All the Same


When my mother first told me about the man who entered
without knocking
I shattered like porcelain cups hitting the kitchen counter,
she held my cracking shoulders with brave hands as they heaved,
heavy and defeated

I was denied a name and a story
just a consolation, confirmation
her soft lips wrapped jabbing words in the mitts of
"It was a long time ago"
but it did nothing to soften the blow

in the shower I cried so completely that
more salt than soap was dried from my skin
with a towel too small
to wrap me away from the harms of this world

despite discrepancies
the one who manages to bring you into this world
is the strongest you have ever known
and the knowledge that her no,
wasn't loud enough shook me to my core,
the lump in my throat

could choke him to death

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