Ritual

A simple ritual, done without a thought.
Fix the dinner, tuck her in, make sure the doors are locked.
Say goodnight and go to bed, then a thought goes through my head.
'A child does not put the house to rest. Does not fix dinner and put the children to bed.'
With mother asleep, tired from work, not a peep since school's end.
A realization 'Mother can no longer run the home. With a father to the grave and no older siblings to hold, I must be the one to run it instead' the thought ran over and over in my head.
How proud I was at a childhood lost, not yet knowing the cut-off's cost.
How proud to be mature at that time, I was no longer a child to my eyes.
Now a keeper of a home and a little sister who in her sleep still cries.
I felt pride in my new maturity time and time again, yet all the while I was merely ten.

This poem is about: 
Me
My family

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