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By David L. Hawkins, III / Published on Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 21:25 PM / No Comments / 90 views

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Poetry by David Hawkins

February 18, 2000
A house divided
One whole becomes two halves
And it becomes ever so apparent
That people change
Something changed
Maybe it was the burden of a new life
Maybe it were those ounces of responsibility
That seemed to push you away
I heard about who you were before
Before everything changed
Before my blood grew further and further away
No one pushed you
So who was the architect of this distance?
Quite possibly
It was your choice
Maybe you didn’t think you were ready
Your absence weighed on us so heavy
Because I grew up with no explanation.

I don’t recall you ever really being there
I don’t remember you wishing me good luck after packing my lunch
Or you reading me bedtime stories or singing me lullabies
But I do remember being scared my first day of kindergarten
But you were not there to comfort me
Nor were you there for my second first day of kindergarten
When all of my friends from the previous year had either forgotten me or realized I was not like them
You weren’t there that year
But I remember slowly learning
That I was doomed to fail from the start
A mistake on behalf of the Pasco County school system
Became my mistake
Expectations for me were lower than everyone else
But you were never there to make me feel as if I belonged

For once you were there
Living with us
And as children
Foolish foolish children
We didn’t see how damaged this household was
Until that day
When voices were raised
I can’t even remember why
I was too young to understand
Why that glass jar flew from your hand
Into his face
I do remember red
I remember wondering where dad’s teeth went
The few times he did smile
Why did he deal with it?
With that you ran
You ran and he locked the door
He turned the TV up
My sister and I laughed at Kangaroo Jack
I remember the movie
But I still cannot remember what started all of this
The TV grows louder and louder
But so does the banging on the trailer door
Eventually you gave up
Like you did nine years ago.

We packed our stuff up
And we ventured away from the sunshine
Leaving you behind
I don’t remember you even taking the time to stop by
And say goodbye
Because you never did.

I have spent seventeen years on this Earth
And it has been seventeen years since you changed
Maybe I am to blame
I’ll be honest
And say that it hurt when you said you didn’t want me
You have a whole new family and for some reason that haunts me
And then you act as if I am not your own
That moment when my sister and I had a new mom
But your actions still managed to make us feel alone
I’ll be honest
And admit that I never heard you say “I love you” in my direction
I’m afraid that I missed out on my mama’s affection
So here I sit realizing that you’re probably why I fear rejection
I am living in my own head
Too scared to take a look at my reflection
I’ll be honest
And tell you that you still cross my mind sometimes
I sometimes think of what could have been
If my family was like so many of my classmates
Maybe I would have turned out differently
Maybe I would have turned out better
And I still wonder what happened to you way back when
I still wonder why my dad took those beatings for the sake of stability
Just so my sister and I could have both of you
He never lifted a finger to you
As long as you never lifted a finger to us
While you seemed to cut him so deep
With your words
With your actions
Now he has no teeth left
Now I realize what happened while I was naive
In hindsight
All of those things I was once blind to
Now seem so obvious
And I wish I could have stopped it
But it was never in my control
It feels like I sometimes just sit here like a backseat driver
Too far away from the steering wheel to make a difference
But too scared to talk and change the outcome
Maybe it isn’t my fault
Maybe some people just aren’t meant to be parents.

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