To Your 18th Birthday

They destroyed all that you had,

& left you in the dark space that was left,

to whisper of madness.

 

You wrapped yourself in sheets of cellophane

that fell to the ground with each painful sound,

every time someone spoke your father’s name.

 

So you wrote poetry in a desperate metre,

drew faces of horror with blackened fingers

in the glass of a cruel mirror.

 

But the mirror was wiped clean,

and the poetry was put aside, classified

as the phase of a troubled teen.

 

And so to your 18th birthday when

you were supposed to do away with childish things.

You placed a candle in the fireplace

 

to warm your ashen face,

but never accepted that there was a place for everything,

& everything in its place.


Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017

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