Void and Cracked
by Danielle Shpaner

I remember opening the medicine cabinet
And finding a white bottle of liquid capsules,
Only to spin around, and catch him, from the corner of my eye
Inhaling the pungent fumes of Cuban cigars
And burning himself with bittersweet vodka.
I remember tip-toeing to my mother's room
And strangling her with my skinny arms,
Beating her with the weight of my head against her breasts.
"What's wrong with Daddy?"
She covered my question with her palm,
As sturdy as the distinct edges of a stop sign,
And flung my tears like a child, plucking petals from a dandelion.
I picked up his glasses one morning
And crushed them into the barren wood of the kitchen table,
Watching specks of white pierce flushed flesh,
And crimson red stain the creases of my palm.
He knelt down next to me,
Gray strands peeping through his haystack of hair,
His eyes the color of the pavement, void and cracked,
And claimed that now he couldn't see.

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Poem Copyright 2009 by Danielle Shpaner


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