I Was Only Eight or Nine

Today, in recognition of Women’s Month, I am sharing s poem I wrote in 2014. I wrote the poem when I reflected on the rough times my mother went through when my father left us. It was a time when I was my mother’s confidant because we were new in town with no family or friends close by for her to talk with about the things she was feeling.

I listened even though I had no idea how to respond. It was enough for my mother to release the hopelessness and pull herself together for another day.

I welcome any feedback or comments.

I Was Only Eight or Nine

By La Wanna 04.20.2014 Easter Sunday

I was only eight or nine

I sat there, not knowing what to say

She talked and talked

With tears rolling down her face

Sometimes so choked up

I could not make out

What she said

I was only eight or nine

I did not know what to say

I listened as I felt helpless to help

She continued to talk

And I listened

After a while,

I realized there were no tears

Her voice and words were clearer

She had a look I did not understand

I was only eight or nine

It would be years later

When I understood that look

She had decided within herself

With quiet determination,

Her decision made

I was only eight or nine

I didn’t understand

The man we called Dad

And she called husband

Had chosen to leave us

To be a father and husband to another family

I was only eight or nine

I believed I said or did something wrong

Or maybe I was not pretty enough

And caused my father to leave.

After all, I had asked God for an older brother.

With my father’s new family, I now had one.

Although, it would be two years before I learned this.

My mother said not to worry

She would find a way for us to survive

She didn’t need a man

That didn’t want her to make it

I was only eight or nine

And I didn’t understand

Later, when alone in bed,

I begged God to return my father

But my prayers went unanswered.

It would be two years before I saw him again

He tried to explain

It wasn’t my fought,

It just wasn’t meant to be.

And although he still loved us,

He could only see us on visits.

I was only eight or nine, And I didn’t understand.

Until tomorrow, stay safe and keep the faith.

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