When You’re Small and Your Father Won’t Wake Up
Not because she ever thought about suicide but because she happened to be the one who found her parents, after swallowing handfuls of pills, one years earlier than the others. And because her mother remarried when she was still young and because that man did the same after her mother followed in her dead father’s footsteps, so to speak or at least some invisible path that led them all to the other side. And for some reason unknown to her, as if the stars or fate had a cruel vision that she should be witness to the lifeless bodies of her parents after downing clusters of pills, as if they only saw an aura of light or a chance at gladness outside their own mortal palms, as if they heard one answer and never questioned the swallowing of death, as if there was something magical about deciding their own ending and finding courage in requesting God to take you there, to a place without need or reason to breathe in air, she began to ponder if they considered who’d find them. There, with opened bottles strewn haphazardly around the floor, hands emptied but for wedding rings haloing fingers like golden broken promises before entering eternity. And she began to think somehow facing that kind of loss made her love them even more, made her life and theirs extra precious, made her lament all the years she wouldn’t see them and she wondered why only one left a note, which she kept folded beneath her pillow. Only one said he was sorry, which made her think he’d loved her enough to take one moment before to write it down, in blue faded ink, in shaky script on a tiny piece of now yellowed paper, all the words smeared from a lone tear, as if he didn’t want to, as if he might have reconsidered, as if he’d hoped someone might have found him before it was too late.
Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas lives in the Sierra Foothills. She studied at Santa Clara University where she was an English major. She is an eight-time Pushcart nominee andfive-time Best of the Net nominee. In 2012 she won the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her manuscript: “Before I Go to Sleep”. She is the author of several collections of poetry including her latest book from Prolific Press, “Things I Can’t Remember to Forget”. She is the Editor for The Orchards Poetry Journal and a member of Saratoga’s Authors’ Hall of Fame. According to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson, or at least her mother said so. http://www.clgrellaspoetry.com