After Richard Died

Parents ignored the warning sign.
I broke things just to cry over our brokenness.

I remember there were times father wanted to unhinge me
and take a look under the hood.

He mistook my brain for steel girders
he could unscrew joint by joint and stack neatly.

I do not understand why two people who craved order
had children and all the accompanying messiness.

There was the subtle violence of being called by the wrong name.
How I saw more stars at night than others.

How I opened my mouth to speak
and words never came out in the right order.

How my word’s cluttered existence
dismantled my parents carefully constructed stiff upper lips.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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