Submitted by: Anonymous
All I had wanted to do was finish my calculus homework.
Because I had so much going on:
Like prom and being class president and AP classes and college apps
and dragging you across the parking lot,
limp and lifeless,
and somehow trying to explain to the nurse,
that no, no, no
it’s just the flu
and that you didn’t fall out of my truck,
or puke in the duff by the woods,
and yes, please send him home.
And you see I covered for you:
and covered, and covered, and covered,
until I couldn’t anymore.
And I was so tired,
because I had been waking up every day
trying to save you.
And you let us get caught.
Don’t think I don’t see the blame in your eyes,
glassed red and dazed purple at the edges,
like that bruise on your arm, or the hasty gash on your shoulder,
that you tried to convince me I could sew for you,
in the bathroom by ourselves.
I can’t stitch you back together, I can’t.
Not when they’ve marked you.
You cried that night too.
I got scared
because the wildness that I have loved about you,
since I caught you climbing to the top of the fridge
when you were three,
was faded with an ashy edge
like the smoke I let you wrap us in.
How could you?
For almost 7,000 days now
it’s been my job
to watch and make sure you’re okay.
And yes, honey, I know.
Rehab is hell, and this is my fault.
I’ve always been the quieter one,
the shadow to your spark.
Which is maybe why you were so shocked
And how could you how could you how could you
I don’t know where that courage came from either,
right in the middle of calculus homework.