I Should Have Listened

My mother told me not to go
I should have listened
Instead I chose to forego
Heeding her, now my tears glisten
Like reflections because I’m missing, missing, missing
you

My mother told me not to go
I should have listened
To bask in the glory of your presence
For a couple hours more
To delay the inevitable gouging out of my core
To dam the tears welling, ready to burst out the door
Of my eyes, as a pearly glaze forms over my gaze
and I cry
I cry
I cry

I cry sometimes at night
As I think about you and that night
It’s a relief that I’m able to cry sometimes at night
As I think about you and that night
For 11 years, I couldn’t cry sometimes at night
As I thought about you and that night
Until I spilled my soul into the vessel of my best friend and cried at night
As I thought about you and that night

My mother told me not to go
I should have listened
Instead I chose to go
To my best friends older brother’s party and came back to you in the hospital
Woke up the next morning to you being airlifted out the country
3 months later, visited you, out the country
Cancer had got to your brain, you didn’t recognize me
Cancer had got to your brain, you thought poop jokes were funny
The memories bring an unexpected smile to my face
As I realize, my reasons for writing this poem were a mistake

My mother told me not to go, I should have listened
But I didn’t
I beat myself up over the last time I saw my father healthy
It’s filthy
And self-hating coming from one as disabled as I
One of my father’s most traumatizing memories was seeing his own father, in a moment of weakness
My father always wanted me to be a better man than he
So to myself, I offer forgiveness

My mother told me not to go, I should have listened
But I didn’t
That decision made all the difference
For through writing this, I have found, forgiveness

A poem I wrote for the Discovering Diversity Publishing Facebook Live Poetry Slam! On the theme of Mistakes

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