your mother never loved you
the way you love me.
you felt safer in the arms of a man
over twice your age at 13, a man
who touched you in the back room
of the dance studio then made you his wife.
I hurt because you never knew what safe was
as I lay here in my bed and think
of all the things I wish I could say to him.
all the ways you should have been
held, your voice like birds as you
rub my arm and sing me to sleep, God
is so good and I cry because people
weren’t always good to you. You didn’t
know the neighbor was your sister and
you didn’t know your dad wasn’t
your dad and I need you to know
that you are not your mother.