When I was four years old, the phone rang.
Nonchalantly, being a silly child, I answered it.
The person on the other end asked to speak to my father.
It was his cousin, calling to say that their grandmother had died.
I was never nonchalant about a phone call after that.
When I was thirteen, I dated a boy.
He was popular and cute and well liked at school.
Alone, he was angry and controlling.
He lost his temper and wound up with his hands wrapped around my throat
He left my tiny body lifeless on the ground
It was then that I learned how to walk on eggshells.
When I was fourteen, the bank foreclosed on the house.
The place with all of the perfect nooks and crannies,
As an only child, it was a small corner of the world that fwas just for me.
Walls and rooms, doors and dormers. It was more than brick and wood.
It was a true home, a sanctuary, my point A.
I have searched for a home ever since.
When I was eighteen, the towers fell
We watched from atop the school, across the harbor.
Too many parents never made it home that day.
The shock, rage, heartache and fear gave way to cynicism,
It was then that I lost my innocence.
When I was twenty, I woke up to coffee brewing.
Got dressed, and made my way into the living room
My father had been taking a nap when his heart stopped beating
He went gently into that good night, while my mother and I were lost.
He was our provider, and that burden then fell on me.
It was then that I learned what it really means to grow up.
The next year, at twenty-one, My mother wasted away
The cancer had spread throughout her body so quickly.
I signed the do not resuscitate order, held her hand and told her I loved her
She really couldn't live without him, I suppose.
I have felt alone in the world ever since.
I was married at twenty-three to a man who loved me enough
To feel obligated not to leave.
We went through the motions and when that failed, we realized our mistakes,
Five years married and we went our separate ways.
All those picket fence dreams went down the drain.
It was then that I came to terms with the fact that in some way, I will always be alone.
The last of my kind.
Now, I feel as an old maid, fragile and lonely.
I know heartbreak and love, betrayal and creation.
My hands that were once so full of possibility and purpose- now shake.
Most days my eyes cannot find the beauty in the ordinary
I look to the broken, to the possibility, and there between the cracks
I can hope- that everything I have learned, has not been in vain