By Anastasia Simms
I think easy was lost
somewhere in the distance between “home”
and “dad’s house.”
Easy doesn’t belong to people like us.
We don’t inherit it in the will or the bloodline.
We sniff it in brief pauses between storms
like gardeners smell dirt after rain.
People could call us lucky,
but lucky is not quite the same as easy
just like you’re not quite the same as good
and I’m trying to be the same as forgiving,
but resignation feels more familiar on my skin.
I wonder if you named me Resurrection
because you thought I might be yours.
Mom often tells this story
about a time you came home on leave.
I ran up and hugged you right away
then turned around
and didn’t speak to you for three days.
Maybe my toddler self was making you
serve penance for abandoning me
or maybe she was trying to make sure
you were serious about staying that time.
Either way, I wonder
when I stopped being like her
and started being more like a doormat,
or a blanket, or a mirror
or whatever else you needed.
At some point, black and white
started becoming grey
and you started skipping Wednesdays
skipping phone calls,
until eventually I learned that sometimes
absence just breaks a heart.
And I’m not sure whether to say
I’m sorry about your past
or demand an apology for mine.
I don’t know if should forgive you
or hate you, and I don’t know
if I could do either right if I tried.
You tell me life has always been hard.