I Remember

I remember being a liar.

I remember walking past my house
Until the school bus
Turned the corner,
Then walking through
Clouds of street dust
Once I turned to go back.

I remember writing false addresses
Under my name
In the marble copy books
My mother bought at Clover.

I remember tacky orange surfaces
Intended as trendy décor,
Clearly unclean
Vaguely pornographic
And ridiculously artistic.

I remember TV dinners
On the plastic
Dining room table,
Under the mural
Painted for distraction.

I remember metallic wallpaper
In sticky
Nicotine cellophane
Under the coffee table – six, seven
Eight years.

I remember dishes festering
And the outside trash can
Inside,
Overflowing on cheap
Linoleum.

I remember ‘family rules’ written in
Narcotic black marker
On salvaged poster board,
And how ‘normal’
Was a parody,
And at times
A dangling carrot:
A prize
I’d have to earn.

I remember someone saying
They were disgusted
They had eaten there
And wondering why
They would say that to a child.

I remember no one else was ashamed.

I remember my father taking me away
In the night
When he found out what happened when you
Turned on the light.
I remember being confused
When he brought me back.

I remember desperation
As they
Crawled from my school bag
And telling myself no one saw.

I remember that they did.

I remember knowing
None of this was okay
And that understanding that
Was a betrayal.
I remember she taught me
Not to hate someone for their weaknesses
And that at twelve I knew she meant her.

I remember the joy in watching
The roof burn
And the sympathy
Fluttering around me
Like useless confetti.

I remember every
Rationalization
And every flat-out lie she told
During the rare instances she

Glimpsed guilt,
An apparition in the garbage.
I remember letting go

Of her excuses
And coming to understand
That one day
I would have to write this.

Molly Prostka spends her days in corporate America and her nights dreaming of blue water. She finds herself on the search for authenticity, connection and freedom from imagined prisons. It is likely not surprising to many of us that she often finds glimpses of these light things in the dark.

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