Your father left me for dead with soiled pampers and a scorching Lavender Blue larynx on his 1960s Green carpet. I laid there limp in the living room, tears destined to preserve me, I cried for you; I screamed Mommy until I passed out. Yearning Your presence cradled me until I was 9.
Then at 12, I spoke through an eroding esophagus, a belly on fire from secrets, a compressed throat, a murmurous heart–– I told you what happened.
Silence befell You.
You did what you could only do as the frightened, helpless abused little girl you are
trapped inside an inflated body of comforting blubber and dark sagging skin. You were so scared. Your lips shivered. You froze for the next 10 years.
But you have such a loquacious tongue when avoiding grief. You tested my unwavering love with muteness¬¬. You ripped me out, pulled me up, I was once a dutiful daughter.
Now, I am merely a bouquet of Hydrangeas Slowly languishing in the Autumn wind stranded, without water.
But still, I love you. Even after you continued to devour a pyramid of marshmallow coated roasted yams, mash potatoes, cranberries, seasoned stuffing, and slices of baked turkey when seated sandwiched between me and him.
Following the family’s Thanksgiving prayer, bite after bite, I lost appetite I began to purge.
Your taciturnity devalued me. Your swollen tongue nearly broke my dignity.
But still, I love you. You tried to protect me–– A woman shielding her daughter from catcalls and whistles. A woman cursing grown men on street corners for staring too long, yearning to comb her daughter’s 12-year-old curves.
But woman, Your silence made you a bystander after I said your father molested me.
I must help you, never stop loving you.
You easily feel unheard, you hyperventilate. Your lungs tighten Your voice drops.
You talk in circles. I remind you to breathe.
And although I wish I could wrest Your karma, I can’t.
Your hair thins in loneliness and your blood clots in worries.
I see you. I forgive you.
I hold my Truth regardless if you hold mine too.
Thea Matthews is a BlXicana womxn feminist, born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She is a spoken word artist, survivor of sexual violence; and she often refers to herself as a poetivist (poet + activist). She has a WordPress (theamariematthews.wordpress.com) and a SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/theammatthews).