I will go

They shouted at me from the water that I was too small.
It had all been decided, it was a fact.
The bigger kids knew it and I wasn’t sure just exactly how.
So I watched.
I mostly watched her,
The woman with the long blond hair
And the bikini, the long legs and the very flat belly.

The next day I put on my bikini and laid on the couch,
I couldn’t stop seeing how she looked
And I sucked in my 5 year old belly and
Pretended I was her until I couldn’t hold my breath any longer.

I did this over and over, vaguely aware of my parents
Arguing in the other room. There were no words, just a tone.
And my only memory of them
Ever arguing

He walked right by me, to the front door
I ran to catch him, and held him as tightly
As I could, knowing that if I let him go
He would never come back.

He left my mother crying at the door
And me to a lifetime of sit-ups and

Now he is dying and asking me to come
And I will because that is how I am.

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