I heard my Gram scream in the desolate silence
It was early January, out in the country, snow to navel
five blanket kind of freezing and she was screaming.
I jolted awake, scrambling beneath the cocoon of blankets
She screamed as if the hounds of hell were chasing her
When I reached her side, she was five years old.
I rocked her back to sleep.
I walked into my home with hope shining brightly
on legal sized paper declaring my parental rights
The phone rang, it was handed to me.
I listened as the perfection I imagined
threw me to the floor unable to support my vision
ripping a universe apart with six words
unable to support the weight of my sorrow as I screamed
I rode the elevator upwards without hope, holding knowledge.
I waited patiently for the doctors to return to the room
waited but already knew what they’d discovered.
He was dead. I was alone. There was a void of pain.
An echo of maybe and an absolute removal from now.
When I leaned down to kiss the cold skin of his once warm forehead
I was pulled away for my contamination of the saint with my sinner’s taint.
He packed the last of his things into the suitcase.
My eyes barely opened from the days of begging on my knees
My lip bloodied from our last confrontation
when he tried to burn the music out of my soul
when he tried to show me who ruled the roost.
I sat on the cold slab floor with brown tile hiding my shame
I deserted his God. I left him with the pile of discarded cardboard.