Seventeen Years

She steps inside, carrying flowers

Takes a breath of not-air

Oxygen, but it has no flavour

White, like the walls.



Everything here is quiet, waiting

She has waited seventeen years

Maybe this is what she waited for

She takes a seat.



Seventeen years is a long time

To wait for nothing

She thinks, but I am here

Waiting for him to



To...she doesn't know

What she wants from him now

They haven't spoken in seventeen years



Maybe it was all said

Seventeen years ago.



The nurse hands her a form

She concentrates. The floor is

pale blue like those curtains

in her room back home.



She hasn't missed him

These seventeen years

She doesn't want anything from him

She is not seven anymore.



And now she can't see the letters

They're bleeding off the paper

She thinks absently, where's

all this salt water coming from



Into a room with one bed

He is asleep

Face white, like the walls

She wants to shake him

Shout at him- I'm here



I am here and you are not

anymore and even so still

all you do is hurt

and I am hurting still

still

after seventeen years



(daddy can't you hear me crying

i won't cry for you

anymore because you are not

and you are not ever

ever if you ever were)

The seven year old is crying.



She does not cry, realizes she has nothing to say

She thinks, seventeen years is a long time,

How about eternity.

She does not wake him, leaves the flowers

On the bedside table

On her way out.

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