The only thing worse
than the death of someone you love
is the complete and utter failure of that person
to fulfill their role in your life
while there’s breath in their lungs.
They’re walking about,
talking to others,
sharing glances and smiles with people
who are not you.
My mother won teacher of the year,
I was told,
and I wonder why it is the children of others
she came through for.
I guess it’s easier to speak up on behalf
of children whose demons are not of your making,
and whom you are paid to tolerate.
I wonder if she thought of me at all,
the child who desperately needs someone to talk to
and is left to call an 800 number and say,
“This is the kind of day you call your mother, but mine is dead. ”
It’s easier than explaining that she just doen’t care,
the person who was supposed to love me forever,
like me for always,
as long as she’s living…
I guess dead inside counts too.