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 weekends,
skipping phone calls,

skipping town,

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.

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