Memories of my father

when I was a baby
he was never around
he was in the Coast Guard
when I was little I sat
on his big stomach and
ate popcorn
I went grocery shopping
with him every weekend
he took my mother’s paycheck
sometimes he took me
to the casino
when I was 9 I had a fit
at church because I didn’t
want to be there he hit me
on the side of my leg
my parents split
when I was eleven
I wasn’t aware of it
I thought when my mother
said we were moving,
he was coming
I was wrong

Did he try to see us?
yes, he got into a fight
with her boyfriend and that
was the last time he came
there to try

So then
he sent me birthday
and Christmas cards
every year
since then
sometimes he called
I hardly answered
I saw him only on some
holidays at church
as I got older
when my mother passed
he was at my sister’s house
on Thanksgiving and Christmas
to see us

He showed up at
the hospital when I had
my daughter though a few
months earlier I cussed him
out for making a comment
about me being big
— I was pregnant

Was he there when I was
growing up?
Yeah, here and there
when I was a kid
though half the time
he was gone gambling
when I was a teenager, no
I mean good luck for
anyone trying to get to me then

The last time I spoke to
him was the day after my birthday
he was excited to see
my daughter on Thanksgiving
which was cancelled by coronavirus
and cancelled farthermore
by the asshole that
ran him over and killed him
the night before

Sooo, all that gaps
in my life of him not being there
he made some kind of effort
though I hardly saw him
or knew anything about him
he took some interest what
was going on in my life
it’s unclear to me
if someone or something
prevented him from seeing us
besides his dislike of my
mother’s ‘boyfriend’
but you can’t blame him
he’s also told me to
talk to my father
some answers I’ll never get
what the hell happened?

So, now
I’m a parent and
realize time is a gift
if this was my last
moment on Earth
that’s who I’d want
to be with

Junior high was like

Kindergarten
new at being a teenager
at a school
I won’t remember
and had little significance in
the rest of my life

I recall only
I had bigger boobs
wore 3xs the size
I do now
people calling me
freak
weirdo
pizza face
slow runner in track
the blue lip gloss
I thought was cute
but my crush said
I looked like a smurf

I fought with my crush
to get better grades
I was on honor roll a lot
he liked a model
I also had a crush on my art teacher
he turned out to be a pervert
taking pictures
up staff members skirts

I sat with the outcasts
at lunch
they talked about
pot and choking the chicken
both I knew nothing of
they thought I was too good

I went to a school dance
there was no dancing
but my so called friends
ditched me
to get high

When I was

1
My mother dressed me in pink because it made me happy.

2
I drank my father’s beer thinking it was Pepsi.

3
I pushed a boy off his bike because my oldest sister told me too.

4
A boy kissed me and I thought I was pregnant.

5
I fell asleep on the bus and missed my stop — on my birthday.

6
I told someone in class, “I make my barbies have sex” and she ratted on me — I still thought sex was kissing.

7
My best friend’s last name was Lemonhart.

8
I learned how to swim.

9
“Hey Arnold” came out, I liked Helga because she reminded me of me.

10
I danced “Opps I did it again” in a talent show.

11
I vandalized a park with toilet paper, broke a fountain, and had an angry mob chase after me and my friend.

12
Dealt with being the new kid in school and questioned why I pretended to like someone I didn’t like.

13
I had the first boy to cheat on me and the first boy I’d have to dump.

14
I ran track, I hate it, and everyone hated me; I was slow and they mocked me for being fat and ugly.

15
I thought I liked some asshole from middle school.

16
Became anorexic.

17
First real kiss but with someone I met online from Argentina.

18
Got drunk, danced around a fire, and attempted to go skinny dipping with my clothes on.

19
I had a purity ring, which I lost.

20
I had sex with a virgin in a hotel.

21
I slept with two guys named Chris.

22
The first date with my boyfriend, he told me loved me and I called him crazy.

23
I smashed my laptop writing an Archaeology paper and decided to major in Creative Writing instead of Anthropology.

24
Developed my ice coffee addiction, 3 a day and back seat of car full of cups.

25
My mother was diagnosed with cancer.

26
I got another pregnancy scare…