"Until Next Year"

Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis
St. Louis City, MO

I sit there,
Crying a river,
Listening carefully,
As the facts hit me each time,
Like needles to skin,
The sound of my mother’s voice,
“He was drunk, driving, and made the worst mistake of his life.”
How my father was leaving my life,
Into a life full of criminals, guards and bars.

I think things over,
Repeating them each time in my head,
Over and over and over again,
Imagining the horrible accident,
How my dad hit the back of that SUV,
Taking three children away from a father,
And even a father away from me,
I’ll see him once a year,
Limited time,
A blue jumpsuit,
His beautiful hair shaved down,
Oh no…

The worst part—Leaving.
Leaving the visiting room,
I hear the guard tell us,
It’s time to go,
I get up and hug him harder than ever before,
Trying to find that sweet cologne I loved of his,
Not there.

I watch as the guards lead me and my brother away,
I don’t dare to turn my back from my father just yet,
Trying to take as many small steps as possible,
I try not to cry,
I fail,
I feel a tear slowly fall down my check,
Almost to the door now,
I watch as my father stands from his chair,
His last words and tears will be with me forever,
“Until next year.”