March 21st, 2012

I fret back and forth,
Bite my fingers for a moment
Hide it by tilting my face away
Look, look away
Tilt my head this way and that
Frame my face with worried fingers
Supporting my chin on my hand
Purse my lips, bite my lip
Look back again
Mom!
Like a thunder clap
It brings me back again
The clouds over my face part
I smile half-heartedly
I have to go
She looks up at me with an odd look
Lurking in her stormy grey eyes
They are her father’s
So much like her father
I begin to bite my nails again
Flick my eyes off towards the window
Throwing my attention across the room
So I don’t have to look at her
Question looming in those haunting eyes
A light but insistent tug on my dress
Brings me back
I look down and smile
Half heartedly
You are going to have so much fun
I place my shaking hand on the top of her head
Feeling her feathery hair
Trace my finger along the red ribbon twisted
Among the feathers of her hair
So soft and smooth
So much fun
I mutter to myself as my attention drifts away again
–the bus
the honk hits me like a slap to the face
I wince slightly
Clawing to bring me back to her to here
I really have to go now
She reaches up with her little hands and turns
The door knob slowly and with effort
I place my hand over hers
Helping her open the door that is too big for her
I feel the softness of her unmarred hands
I wonder if she feels the bones of my fingers
The sadness etched lines of my hands
It swings open
She runs out the door
Like a clumsy fawn
Her back pack shifting back and forth
The monster in front of the house waits
Taking her away from me
I hover at the doorway
Unwilling to leave the threshold
But unwilling to let her go
–Wait!
A desperate yell
Bursts from my breaking heart
She stops and looks back at me
That question still hiding in her eyes
I hesitate for only a moment
And depart from the sanctuary
Running down the little walkway
On legs atrophied with sorrow
I stop before her
She says nothing
Just looks up at me with stormy eyes
Innocent and curious
I grab the end of the red ribbon
Which had come undone on her escape from the house
I kneel in front of her
And tie the ribbon with foolish hands
That shake even as I smile
Half-heartedly
And look into her eyes
I smooth her hair when I am finished
Put my hands whittled away with grief
On her small shoulders
Let out a sigh
That wanted to be a scream
And watch
As she faintly smiles and turns away
The monster honks again
Taking her away from me
I slowly stand as the bus drives away
Leaving me on the shores of my sorrow
Alone
With half a heart.

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