My laugh is hard; it lacks sympathy.
My eyes are cold; see only my misery.
My need for love was warped at fifteen
learning she never wanted me.
Never to have known my mother’s love
(I don’t mean the one who adopted me)
is a deadly place, a grieving, lonely space.
The anger inside can turn you mean.
Something is broken inside.
I can’t cry for others or feel empathy.
I want to spread pain on my family,
want the world to hurt along with me.
Since I can’t hurt her, others will do.
My need to strike out is habitual, spins me
in its torrential whirlpool. Nothing
to grab onto. And I don’t know how to swim.
first published in BEHIND PRISON WALLS Chapbook
©2011 Bonnie Manion