Ghosting A Child: A Poem

I learned not to trust a word you say.

Your mouth, the endless regurgitator of

Infidelities and insincerities. The spit within

It branding its bile onto my face. Your language,

Invisible, on my cheeks, bruising my muscle memory.


I wanted the whole world from you as a child.

I wanted to hold your hand and claim this is mine.

You are. You made me. I am yours. How easily these

Words can be perverted, turned acidic, into nightmares.

Into hands that reach too far, and knees smashed on sidewalks.

I ran towards you, I did, when I was without judgement and


You eluded me.


I found out what anger felt like. Unresolved, stagnant, repetitive

And unheard. You never listened. I waited for your interest in me

Amidst the death of leaves, in cold bathwater. You felt unholy.


Everything you touched became fragile and surrendered.

I avoided you like the pest. I had moments when I thought

I could focus on the other side of you, the small light

That turned out to be gas.


They looked at you, devouring the words

You knew how to sell, their eyes as large as saucers, you got them

All agitated, worked your way inside their hearts and they would say

That they wished they had a father like mine.







That’s what they said.


And you looked at me as if you had conquered me.

As if I had lost enough blood to step out of your way.

You within the limelight and I back where I came from.

The performer, the act, the applause, the silly hearts.


I knew the truth, at least one of them.

There was no room in the car for me.

There was you and your ego, inflated, no need for airbags.

Your smile felt like a dagger in my chest and I didn’t know why.

Needles and balloons.

Needles and balloons.

Needles and balloons.

You looked at me and said without saying

That I would never be able to do what you did.

That I was too shy, too fat, too insecure, too imperfect, too clumsy.


Father, you would never be the person establishing what I could or couldn’t do.

woman covering her face with brown scarf
Photo by Kristina Nor on


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