See Me No More

The day that he left us he left for so long
He avoided my eyes and said, “Baby, be strong.”
My small and frail body in a heap by the door
I knew after that day I’d see Daddy no more.

We’d go swimming and open up presents on Christmas
That is until she gave in to the sickness
An angel in teal with the heart of a fighter
Grammy’s vodka would make her feel lighter and lighter
One night she got light lying next to a flame
And the candle tipped over and caught her bed frame
And the frame caught the wall
And the whole house did fall
My small and frail body in a heap by the door
I knew after that day I’d see Grammy no more

My daddy was black and my mama had speckles
So I came out tan, my nose covered in freckles
But Mama’s new boyfriend didn’t like people dark
He liked them all Southern, like him: white and stark
So he yelled and he screamed and he shouted at me
“Babe, the kid’s got to go. Kick her out, let’s be free.”
So I came home and found my things packed on the stoop
My whole life, on the driveway, by the basketball hoop
My small and frail body in a heap by the door
I knew after that day I’d see Mama no more

My whole life I’ve been left. I’ve been thrown right away
So I stopped believing that someone would stay
I strung up a curtain round my heart and my mind
And hid my secrets in places that nobody could find

At my school the kids have two parents and money
Here my life is a joke and my future is funny
I have no need to share, I pretend I’m like them
I’ll keep my whole life behind one curtain hem.

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