Attic II

After three weeks,
Dad finally noticed my preschool drawing
wasn’t hanging by Mom’s research.
No one had any ideas.

Now that he’s certain
of the rest of the house,
he’s tearing open boxes
of Mom’s old textbooks
while I offer moral support
from the door.

The heat comes on
and we both hear it: a few
red crayon
almost-words
flapping a little on the stone flue.

He sits on a box, barely holding
it, talking to it.

I saved this
because I loved it.
And because I knew you’d want it
some day. It wasn’t yours
to destroy. I was so proud of you,
and I wanted to keep that moment
safe.
He pulls his hair back.
You don’t know yet
what it means to lose a piece
of your childhood…

He throws his head back.
You know how hard your mother
and I work for you
to go to good schools….
His eyes
are glassing and I stand

like a board and shout
What do good schools have to do
with crayons and construction
paper? That drawing never meant enough
to you to make room
for another one.
You’ve just been waiting for me
to make you that proud again
and we both know I’m never going to
before you’re dead.

My head’s hammering.
He stares at me.
He pulls his hair.

You’ll understand some day
when you want it back.

I’m sure.

He pushes
past me and hurls
the door into the wall.

I sit in the glare
ten minutes. Open the window
and step outside.
The snow feels good
in my shoes.

Added: March 24, 2013 | Last changed: June 7, 2014