Apathy and January

Boy you left me at the railway station
Penny in pocket, pen in hand
To think of all the reasons why you
Could have been a better man-and

I can’t help but hate you
And I can’t help but leave you
I can’t help but hate you
And I can’t help but need you

Boy you left me with a letter that you
Scribbled in your heavy hand
You wrote it out on yellowed paper
With your father’s fountain pen-and-

I can’t help but hate you
And I can’t help but leave you
I can’t help but hate you
And I can’t help but need you

My mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and I’ve spent the past month or so watching her die. My sister said
“well, we’re all like already dying, you know?”
And it was just not the time. My sister is in a mental hospital now dealing with the confrontation of her imaginary problems and her real ones. She is in a ward of people watching this same war.

My sister is in the Trauma unit, it’s a building full of quiet women. She claims it’s the nicest wing of the hospital, but she is still hopelessly sad. I visited her on Christmas and they searched our presents for drugs or weaponry or copies of Flowers of Evil– things mental patients shouldn’t have.
Excuse me, trauma patients.

There are pictures on all the walls rendered with crayons and acrylic paint, on rough sheets of recycled brown paper. It’s like a kindergarten without the children. All the women are the soft, strangely nice teacher you had once, and this is where they’ve come. My sisters roommate enjoys yoga, and coloring. Her other roommate is reading every piece of Shakespeare’s work, including the histories. I did not see her but I saw her copy of Henry VIII and the microfiber blanket the hospital had given her as a Christmas gift.

Sometimes my sister is allowed to visit home to do laundry and guilt trip me. I wish I had time to see her, I wish things weren’t the way we are. That I wasn’t just afraid of her.

I seem to go through the stages of the grief cycle every day. I wake up in denial, and by the time I’ve left the shower I’m angry. Right now I just don’t care anymore, I’m too tired. I haven’t had much time for writing but I’ve had a lot to say. As it is, I have to go to class but I may revisit these thoughts later.


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