I buried my friends in childhood

I buried my friends in childhood
and I was never free to mourn.

There was always school,
and homework,
dishes that needed washing,
and a beating I had earned.

There is no space to grieve loss,
when it is never ending,
when you are slowly being killed.

So I mourn now.
Because I’m safer as an adult
than I ever was as a child.

Certainly, I’m freer.

I feel so many things when I think of this.
One day,
I’ll write them.

I’ll write about the feeling
of being powerless over myself,
of being abused by the person I loved most,
of the nights I thought I would die,
and the other nights I hoped to.

Of other scared, scarred, invisible children
and the ways we tried
to keep each other safe
knowing we never could.

Of gunshots and funerals
and children in caskets and suits,
both too big for their bodies.

Of crying mothers and fathers
and little boys who refused
to let anyone see them cry.

Of feeling invincible,
and also oh-so-very breakable.
Of being broken.

Of tears
and the little girls who wiped them, 
mothers before we were ever children.

Of children,
born dying
before we ever got to live.

I buried my friends in childhood
and I never got to mourn.

So I mourn now.

Because I’m safer as an adult
than I ever was as a child.

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