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Nov 302015
 

by Anne Whitehouse

 

The mothers of the suicides

wear downcast looks years later.

The skin of their faces sag,

the corners of their mouths are etched

in expressions of permanent discontent,

hollows of sadness form around their eyes.

 

Their sons took their lives at home,

in early manhood. One hung himself

in the garage; his sister found him.

The other waited till the family left

for a reunion he’d refused to attend,

arranged himself in an armchair,

and slit his wrists. It was a hot week,

and the smell from the apartment

alerted the neighbors.

 

Worse than the dread were the discoveries.

The nightmares have never gone away.

 

What do you want from me?

You were the one who left—

Why won’t you let me go?

Whatever I did that was wrong,

I’m still paying for it.