Parental Apparitions

one cannot know
if this parenting mistake
will haunt her till death

will we be haunted
thoughts of all we could have done
between joy, anger?

her eyes still singe tears
as she kisses me goodnight
but who’s forgiven?

that’s the ache of it
the dark side of parent love
no one talks about

instead, we talk on
conversations, awkward lies
their shouting echoed

how could she be twelve
i see her carry the weight
of all her sisters

on her tiny frame
our guilt mirrored back to us
weight of heaven… hell

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