I Declare Head of Household

I am the product of pain and sorrow

The hurts so deep, where is my tomorrow?

I am the child who took off his suit, his childhood suit-

he took it off when he realized, he’d need to recoup

and put on the clothes, the garments, left behind

by his parents, his aunts, his uncles- and grandparents too

These oversized, baggy new suits, became his protection

no more fun, no more games, it was time to mend, to sew

to darn the socks of the broken and disengaged

You are the only one – the chosen one – to claim

to piece back this fragmented, shredded wardrobe 

of family –  ripped, torn, insane

Your suit, your costume was large, oversized

but you wore it well; this garment of authority 

held in the swell, 

of childhood fears, of childhood tears

of childhood stolen by a family that extended

a family who decided, it was time to check-out

to leave their belongings and vacate the room

they left you alone to stitch back together

the love of childhood, the comfort of play

I am the child-sized adult who became,

The head of household, the head of this state

For all the adults had ripped off their suits and hats

and took the next train;  leaving you with your sisters 

to pick up their mess,

to stuff the pillowcases, do the dishes

and straighten out their rageful beds,

I am the product, the prodigy 

of sorrow and pain.

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

#Poetry #Freeverse #Dysfunctional #Family

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