Hannah P

I Just Don’t Understand

 

I just don’t understand. He taught me to look someone in the eye when you spoke to them, to show truth and confidence in your words and respect for others. He taught me that breaking a promise was wrong, that when you messed up you paid for your mistakes. That you don’t lie. Yet he turned out to be the biggest liar of all. Where are you now, Dad, is this your time-out? It feels more like a cop out.

I do understand why my mom divorced him. I do understand her stress, her pain and agony, the weight on her shoulders harsh enough to rival Atlas’. I do understand that her heart is broken. I just don’t understand why he broke it.

 


Like a Unicorn

 

At your school, being out is like being a unicorn. No one believes you at first, you are few and far between, existent on rumor alone.

Your best friend’s mother treats you like her daughter. You later realize it’s because she thinks you are dating her son.

That video game was so gay, you hear. You cringe when the speaker responds with gay means weak when you ask them about it.

Looks like you dressed up as a troll, you hear one classmate say to another. The student replies, Looks like you dressed up as a fag. You hear their laughter as you frown because the teacher heard, but did nothing.

 

 


I Always Knew

 

I knew when I was little.

When I hid under the bed.

When Dad punched a hole in the door that was covered up with a proverb.

When I wrote a letter to the therapist that got torn up.

When I read of missionaries and astronauts in the far off places I longed to run to.

When I cried.

 

I knew when I was older.

When Dad punished me by withholding visits to Grandma.

When he told me that if I kept crying he would give me a reason to.

When the tree from Christmas was still up in June.

When I learned to drown out the fighting with my headphones.

When I read.

 

I know now.

When I wash the clothes the cat used when he didn’t clean the litter.

When he creates excuses to ignore me.

When my mom is on the phone until midnight with 3 different credit card companies to change card numbers before he does.

When we change locks to keep him out.

Out of the house that was never mine,

Out of the house I grew up in,

Out of the safe place that was never ours.

When I write.

 

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