Monday 26 April 2021

This month's Moon Prize, the 73rd, goes to Emily House's poem "Love, Your Daughter."

Love, your daughter

by Emily House

You've broken my heart
And you've broken my heart
And you've broken my heart again.

The therapists say,
“Manage expectations.”
Since I was nineteen they've
Told me what it is to outgrow,
One's parents

They tell me 
Outliving parents is the only primal piece our brains can give us.

And I shouldn't be surprised that you
Believe what you believe

You spent my entire childhood 
Twisting truths 
Both ancient and modern
Pretending persecution.
I was in college before I heard the term


Before I realized there was more

You couldn't protect me from the babysitter's brother
Or your anger
And your belt.
From food insecurity
From moving over and over
Because you couldn't keep a job.
You couldn't protect my shoulders from 
The heavy weight of your tears, either

You gave me all of the power, and none of the power.

You've broken my heart, again and again. 
And you've broken my heart again.

You never stopped moving
Never stopped losing 
Jobs and loosely defined friends.

I'm left holding the pieces and puzzles,
While you have no intention of seeking answers.

I'm left with your debts
And your pain
And your memories

While you claim to remember
Almost nothing at all
And twist what truth remains.

I could be angry.
I could cut you off.
I could join you,
If only in pretending all is well.


You've broken my heart
And you've broken my heart
And you've broken my heart again.

* * * * *

Emily House is a writer and high school English teacher. She lives in Iowa with her family, whom she loves. When she isn't guiding young minds, her life revolves around words and emotions. She views poetry as a natural consequence of this and hopes her works bring healing and insight to all readers. 

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