Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Daddy's Legacy

Daddy made me do it.
Said the baby wasn't right.
It hurted.
It hurted when he told me he'd loved me.
Real bad.
I wasn't supposed to tell Mamma.
I didn't.
Then Daddy didn't care for me no more.
Preferred to stay out late.
I saw the lipstick collars.
Smelt the flowers, the cigarettes and the alcohol.
And his strong soft hands didn't rub my special places.
He never, ever cried in my arms again.
Or told me how sorry he was for loving me too much.
Not even as my belly swelled and the bleeding stopped.
Even after he found the baby a home.
Sometimes when the milk flows I wonder.
Would the baby have loved me?
Thought me special like Daddy did?
Or would it have discarded me, like he,
with looks of disdain.
Shame.
Somehow I think she'd have needed me.
Kneaded me, and kneaded me.
Until I too was able to cry that pitiful cry
that comes from the gut.
The emptiness.
Begging to be soothed and nurtured.
Instead, it is hollowness left after love's gone bad.
Real bad.
Like with my dad.
Couldn't he have just - Left her.
Left me.
Alone.

© Mari Maxwell

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Mari'swork has appeared in several online and print publications and anthologies in the USA and Ireland. Among them: Crannog, Haiku J, Daily Bites of Flesh 2011: 365 Days of Horrifying Flash Fiction, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Coping, and Barbie Bazaar magazines and others.