Oh, the famed American dream
My father has spoken of thee
And all the places you’ll take me
If I invest in the studies
I’ll surely earn my dime
With a job I adore
And a family for whom I can provide
But, as my hairs grow grey
I realize I’ve been sorely led astray
To a job I abhor
And a wife who walked out the door
A worthless degree that put me in debt
A stack of bills I cannot forget
The child support I struggle to meet
A challenge just to stay on my feet
Oh, the American dream
Where are the riches you promised me?
This lifestyle we did not agree
Such unhappiness I did not foresee
Yes, the American dream
It was my father who once spoke of thee
With such glee, he said nothing but good would happen to me
The ghost of you haunts me;
That strange feeling of being watched
The whispers that remain when the wind dies
The shivers in the absence of cold
The things you never said are unforgettable
Those words; tattooed across broken bones
And flowing through torn veins.
They have left their mark.
And what of you now?
The shadow you have become.
I feel your pain in the backs of my eyelids
Your scars cross over mine,
Becoming part of me
Your light smile speaks volumes
As does the small talk you now make
I never asked why you were leaving
I couldn’t question the choices “perfection” makes
In the night, I carry my flagon of need
& one flashlight. You wade & squeeze
into the accident of twisted metal,
bare hips. You salvage the bony humans.
In the backseat, a cat is giving birth.
I name the kittens Mist & Clover.
I try to save the mother with dripping kindness,
with my hard uneven breaths.