I watch with forgotten eyes as my hand etches fingerprints into the glass, leaving behind only faint traces of my existence to what lies inside. Cloaked in invisible flesh I stand peering into the looking glass, knowing this is as close as I’ll ever get. Dangerously close & yet far enough to be abandoned.
To be outsider, forever looking in, just beyond reach – powerless to change –
that is the real tragedy.
Father’s Day didn’t come this year. Or perhaps it came & went.
Though I don’t think I’d recognize it anyway. Or maybe I’m just thinking of you. I find myself asking, “When was the last time? When did I last know him?” The bitter truth is maybe I never did. Suddenly it feels like you’re just another face in the crowd.
Maybe you remembered the man you didn’t have to be all those years ago.
I remember piggy back rides and turning you into a horse. Take your daughter to work day – ones that resulted in me taking a fair portion of your tips. Werewolf masks and ‘Child’s Play’. Banging pots at midnight and hairy chicken cutlets. Be My Valentine. New York City and The Nutcracker at Christmas. Getting my belly button pierced and easing the pain with sunburn. Road trips to Connecticut. Summer vacations in Wildwood Crest. Late afternoon lunch dates.
I learned long ago to mask my hurt in rage because it’s easier than dealing with the truth…
These are the memories I’m left with…
forgotten; left behind; ignored.
Maybe one day you’ll remember me. . .
& I hope you lay awake at night, thinking about me, staring at the ceiling fan looking for answers to the questions you never had the courage to ask.
& I hope you catch yourself remembering little pieces of me as you go about your day, wondering what I’m doing, wishing you could see me one last time.
& I hope you remember all the pretty words you said while you’re lying next to her in bed, the ones I’m sure you told her too.
& I hope you remember that I gave you the best of me even when you deserved the worst.
& I hope you remember all these things because I’ll be dead & gone long before I ever forget.
© Gina Jenkins