I am sorry for not coming to visit you,
for not sitting cross-legged in the open field
while reciting confessions to you.
I am sorry you cannot hear my thousand thanks
for the many model trains and superheroes
that drove the family debt to somewhere
between impossible and my father’s insanity.
I should have leapt from my bed and came
to your defense late at night when you
screamed at him, demanding the car keys
because you “just wanted to go for a ride”.
I now confess mother. It wasn’t the heroes
I craved. It was you I so selfishly wanted;
not to be shared with brothers or sisters;
just you and me having French toast at the
diner on Sunday morning, you and me on a
train ride to the city, your voice
singing Nature Boy only to me.
I am sorry you denied yourself
baubles and furs. But I now understand
why you feared the darkness, why the
TV stayed on all night, why you couldn’t
make the briefest of trips to the nearby
market. Someday I will bite back on my
own fears and come to visit you. I
suppose we could reminisce about
model trains and I could explain why
there is a small machine at my bedside
recycling white noise late at night like
an old TV after the anthem has concluded.