Friday, January 27, 2012

I already miss you.

I miss calling you for help,

like I did anytime my car broke down

or all the times I couldn’t stay in school another minute

and I faked sick so you would pick me up,

or that one time I sliced my leg open on a broken flower pot

and hollered for you instead of my momma or my sister or anyone else.

I miss seeing you ride around on your lawn mower

and how you would sometimes let me pretend to drive it,

but never really because you were scared I would fall and lose a toe.

I miss sitting on the cold concrete,

scratching words into the rough surface with brown acorn shells,

and watching while you tinkered away in your shop,

moving junk from one shelf to another and back again.

The way you laughed so hard it came out like a wheeze and turned silent

and you would bury into yourself like a turtle,

the advice you gave about school and work and boys and life,

the stories you told about your father and your farm and growing up poor and loved.

I hate when you ask about daddy

like he’s still here,

not as much because I hate that he isn’t

{those wounds have scarred}

but because I hate reminding you he’s gone

and watching it register across your face,

the embarrassment of how your mind fails you now.

I hate it when you stumble

and I hate it when you stutter

and I hate it when you can’t remember what we were just talking about.

My heart breaks because I know yours is breaking, too.

Last week, I went to a concert.

I borrowed the truck that you can’t drive anymore.

In a lucid moment, you told me,

Have fun and be safe.

I’ll stay here and worry all night.

Like all good men do about their girls.

I know you’re still here.

I listen to you worry about everyone and everything,

what matters and what doesn’t,

about my boss’s boyfriend who got shot last year,

about my best friend’s grades and drinking habits,

about the boys who’s cars you think I shouldn’t ride in,

about me.

I dread the day you no longer recognize my face,

but for now, you are still here.

I already miss you but you are still here.

{And as long as I am still here, I will remain your grandbaby, your girl.}

(Amy Turn Sharp is writing a poem every single day for an entire year. I can't promise that but I will try to write more poems more days. Here is the Facebook link if you want to write along with us.)

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