Portraits of the Artist, Pre and Post

Relics of ages
Past, my fading images.
Recall I, age five.

Dad said he thought Mom
Was cheating on him, and I
Said, “I think she has

A boyfriend, Dad.” Dad
Still mentions this, thirty years
Later. Some part of me

Believes I caused it,
That if I’d kept my mouth shut,
They could have worked it

Out. My reward for
My psychic abilities:
My parents’ divorce.

But, even then,
I knew it true. Because she
Was cheating on me,

She loved Craig the best,
Even though I was better.
Eric hated me;

I made Dad yell at
Him, not by what I did, but
By being better.

And then it was that
Way with everybody. “If
You’re so smart, why can’t

You do anything?”
I believed I had a gift,
But had squandered it.

I return the photos
To their drawer, understanding
That the boy is still

Me. I hug him, and
Tell him he is loved, wanted,
And he was made right.

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