ghosti

a letter to the person who gave birth to me

When the topic of family

comes up, I tell people 

that I am adopted. 

People usually give me 

The pity look and ask 

me what happened. 

When I start to explain my 

Situation, People tell me 

Not to feel like I am unloved. 

Unnecessary. Unwanted. 

And if I am completely honest? 

I would rather be unwanted. 

 

I would rather that you 

and him did not sit down 

and talk it through. 

That you and him did not 

make the conscious decision,

The sober decision,

The permanent decision,

Of having me. 

I would rather that you 

stumbled upon the bump 

in confusion, that you really 

did not know I was there,

That you were not trying 

to kill me from within. 

I would like to imagine that 

you were some foolish, naive 

little girl who was barely an 

adult, but you were not. 

You were old enough 

to make better decisions. 

 

You made the selfish decision 

of picking a needle over me. 

You chose amber bottles and 

the syringes and addiction. 

You chose to go on a venture 

through the twilight zone,

And take me along for the ride. 

I did not deserve that. 

I did not deserve to be 

damaged because you 

went and made mistakes. 

I am not the mistake. 

I am not the accident. 

I am not the thing that 

“just popped up”- the 

thing that you can push away. 

 

I will always be here, regardless 

of whether or not you look at me. 

I am here. I exist. I am real, 

even if you choose to pretend 

that I was some drugged-out, 

not even 9-month hallucination. 

I am not simply a condition 

you can go and wish away. 

A consequence you can 

go and run away from. 

Most parents go and 

give birth to children,

But you went and gave 

birth to another statistic. 

 

How cruel is it to poke 

holes in an infant? 

To rewire and cross-fire 

their premature brain? 

To take their opportunities,

Their chances, their family, 

all away from them?

 

When you realized you 

could not get rid of me,

Is that when you chose to fight? 

Or was that all for show? 

Is the reason that you ran 

when you gave birth to her, 

Is because you had 

a better replacement? 

One that you did not screw up, 

Or ruin or break or just

One that was not me? 

 

Did you think of me when 

she asked for a sibling? 

Did you think of me when 

you tucked her in at night?

Did you think of me when 

the other moms asked 

if she was your only child? 

Did you think of me when 

you bought baby clothes, 

when you rocked her crib, 

when you were able to take 

her home in your arms? 

 

Am I the “almost” that 

almost makes you cry, that

almost makes you feel guilty, 

that almost makes you regret 

what you have done? 

 

I am not dumb. 

I know it is foolish to 

believe you will have 

some sort of poetic regret, 

to believe that my ghost 

plagues your nightmares

and that my name 

infests your thoughts. 

It is outright stupid for me 

to think you feel bad for all 

of my issues that have your 

signature but no return address. 

How do you even get back at 

someone for something like this? 

How can a daughter betray a 

mother in the same kind of way? 

 

Most people identify 

the four years of high 

school by their nicknames. 

Freshman, sophomore, 

junior, and senior. 

I identify them by the 

people I had to forgive 

each of those years. 

9th grade : Dad. 

10th grade : Myself. 

11th grade : Mum. 

And for 12th grade, 

for the end of childhood, 

for complete closure,

I decide to forgive you. 

 

I forgive you and I let you go. 

I never even knew I was 

holding onto your silhouette, 

But your body looks just 

like my body, and I am 

tired of hating myself. 

Your name feels like a 

curse word and I am 

tired of washing my 

mouth out with soap. 

And I know I will never 

say this to you face to face,

I know I will never get 

to see you, or maybe I will,

But I cannot keep looking 

over my shoulder like you 

might show up just to hurt me. 

 

What I want to say is 

I am sorry you missed out 

on the woman I became. 

I am sorry I missed out on 

the woman you became. 

I am sorry we missed out 

on each other, like two trains 

in the same state, in the 

same city, leaving the same 

station on the same day, 

we just happened to flip 

our P’s and our A’s. 

I am the full, noisy, 

packed noon trip. 

You are the quiet, 

empty, midnight ride. 

 

Tell me, 

Do you picture me 

in one of those rows? 

Do I haunt one of 

those empty seats?  

Comments3

  • Rachel Laurene

    This is beautiful. Tragic and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story with us. To be truly vulnerable is never an easy choice ❤

  • Valerie

    Absolutely beautiful piece. Sometimes the things we write are driven my our pain, but those poems are the ones that need to be seen. Great work

  • Rozina

    Thank you for sharing your poweful poem.



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