Twenty

Twenty years
behind her, beneath her.
Under her is the past.
It’s hers.
It was easy until it was hard.
It’s the wish of her parents
that she join them
but her wish will override theirs.
She will forfeit the purple balloons
the white cake
the perfectly wrapped gifts
and let the blue cloudless day
surround her
comfort her
remind her
she doesn’t have to be like them.
She doesn’t have to live without love
affection
intimacy
joy—
for the sake of what?
She knows forgiveness
is what he wants,
her father—
who spent the last three years
in love with an idea
that didn’t share
her mother’s name.
She wants her mother to know
she will never be played
humiliated
abandoned
cheated
by any man
and stick around
to let him do it again.
This is her breaking point.
This is the end.
This is the day she will decide
she will not give anyone
in her future
power
hope
love
if there is a lie
discovered
wedged
hidden
between what she believes
and what she knows
to be true.
Twenty
is how many years it took her
to discover trust
wasn’t something
that could be expected
from a marriage
a few decades old.
Trust
would be always
the mirage in the desert—
the smoke
rising
fading
disappearing
after the candles
were all blown out.

DeMaris
3-10-2021

Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

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