The One I Needed to Write
He needed to die.
Without you there would have been more.
He did love you in the only way he knew how.
And when his girl was born all he could
See was your tears in her eyes.
She seems so sad.
And she never even had to know the truth.
And he would have…?
But because of me…
He knew what he would do.
At the first sight of dawn he called your mom.
I know that part but why.
He wanted to apologize to you,
To take back the damage he knew he had done
But he knew you wouldn’t understand you were far too young.
He gave your sorry to her to hold.
She forgot to pass that on. Must’ve slipped her mind.
As she flew out the door to try
and save him, leaving me behind.
Unfortunately, you were her lesson too.
Was that why I was born!?
To just be your tool!
Calm yourself girl, don’t be a fool.
I stood there in shock as he smiled so bright.
Let me finish my story to show you my might.
He knew she was coming though not soon enough
He stumbled to bed, knowing this would be tough
The metal was cool and the trigger so light
He tapped on it twice to even the sight.
There was no way to prepare and he heard her pull in
He held the gun steady under his chin
Before the door open he gritted his teeth
And switched to his temple without pausing a beat.
He was gone in an instant and her attempts were in vain.
But his daughter was safe?
And I was to blame?
I was used and abused to teach lessons to others.
To save those deemed worthy
So they could love one another.
And you just stood by
Watching me suffer!
Why am I here if I’m not worth your bother.
My girl, you were loved
Every step of the way.
You clearly weren’t there
You don’t have a say!
Oh, but I was. No matter the cost.
How do you think you survived all that loss.
I held onto you tight
and healed your dreams every night.
For every lesson you taught
I gave you more heart
And in case YOU forgot that was your art.
Through drugs and disease and liars
And thieves, through pain and denial
And you compromising your own survival.
You always had hope, you always were free,
You always were loved,
And you always had me.
Courtney Galligan is a senior in the English Department's BA/MA program at the University of Albany. She is the Managing Editor of NY Writer’s Compendium. A project that she created during her time at the University with the support of her faculty advisor and the NYS Writers Institute. This is her first published submission.