Dirty Peepholes

An aftertnoon stroll has me walking by houses,

  with doors that let me back

  into realities I used to know.

Run down homes with doors whose 

  screens are coming off the hinges,

with doors that

  creak,

with doors whose

  paint is chipping away,

with "doors" that aren't even

  doors. Doors that are

  sheets nailed to an entryway.

With doors that (if I look hard enough), will show me

  my aunts and uncles drinking heavily every evening,

will show me

  Dad leaving our house for the last time,

will show me

  Momma crying because her heart has been broken again,

will show me

  my younger self making dinner for the two-member family

  struggling to survive,

will show me

  how we didn't have the milk for mac and cheese,

will show me

  how I picked the mold of the bread,

will show me

  how the food got cold because

  Momma's busses took three hours to bring her home.

The doors will show me the laughs that rang

  (like when I dressed up the dog,

  or tied a collander to my head),

will show me the okay times

  (like me having mom time me running around the

  parking lot,

  and she made up number because she didn't

  want to count),

will show me the time where I cried

  (when I made dinner, did the hosuehold's laundry, and 

  cleaned, and didn't have time for the 

  30 assigned long division problems).

And the next night Bryon yelled and yelled and yelled and yelled...

and I had to stay up until midnight redoing the homework.

I was eleven.

 

Hopefully the next walk will take me past nicer homes

  with safe doors.

  With happy children adored by two parents,

  who won't know abandonment and mistreatment.

Children that worry about playing and not money and not safety.

Children who still believe the world is a good place.

And I am their mother.

And I love them so much.

And they are my entire world.

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