My Haunting

By In Art, Poetry — April 10, 2016

There’s a girl in the corner with scars on her wrists.

I made her that way.  She laughs in my face when I speak of love, because I betrayed her.  She is broken, but she likes it; she craves attention.  That girl in the corner will not eat because she thinks she is fat.  She thinks she is ugly.  She throws herself at every man who comes her way because I didn’t do enough to save her.  She walks the street corner because I didn’t do enough to take her out of harm’s way.  I put her in harm’s way.

How was I to know she would fall?   Am I my sister’s keeper?  Yes.  I am.  Could I have known what she would do?  Could I have known the outcome of my pressures on her life?  Could I have prevented her self destruction?  I tried to love her, but she stayed hidden just beyond the shadows, in avoidance I never saw.  She never told me the truth.  If she had, I might have saved her.

Now I let the girl in the corner define me.  I let her encompass all of my failures as I try to hide her corpse in my closet of “forgotten” secrets.  She is the walking dead.  I see her, a ghost of who she was, trying to convince me she is more alive than she ever has been.

Lies.  All of them.  I could never have saved her.  I can’t save anyone.  I can only show them the way.  I can only show them the path.  It is their choice whether or not to follow it.  But the guilt.  The guilt that encompasses me every time I open my closet of secrets, I see her pale face and hear her silent whisper.

“Where were you?!” she calls in my dreams as I try to erase all memories of her cursed existence.  She follows me wherever I go.  Sorrow besieges me as I think of all she once was, and everything she could be.

This is my haunting, the memories of those whom I saw fall, and those who didn’t get up again.

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