The Brush of What Was

Girl With a Hairbrush
by Elaine Walton

Walking down the hallway,
I pass by your room and see
a mark on the wall
that damn mark on the wall
where you threw a hairbrush
in a fit of anger.
my hand reaches out
for it for you
and i close my eyes as if
blocking out everything
but this right now
will turn back time
and you will be here again
poised and ready to throw it again
if only it would make me hear you.
As I touch the wall, tears try to tell the truth
and i open my eyes to see
who you are who you were
who you will always be
in the dirty clothes on the bed
shoes on the floor
books stacked on the desk
pocket change on the night stand
windows unlatched but curtains drawn
i know what your room used to hold
sadness tears disrespect anger resentment
and thoughts of you
race through my mind
just like you do every waking moment.
i think of all the things you won’t do ever again
laugh cry graduate run drive sneeze smile breathe
my knees give way
the floodgates burst open
tears flow in silent testimony
to all that you were
and all that you’ll never be
and now that you’re gone
i vowed to keep my eyes full
of everything we had the chance to do
and not on things we’ll never do
so i embrace everything you are
dirty clothes on the bed
shoes on the floor
books stacked on the desk
pocket change on night stand
windows unlatched but curtains drawn
because the mark on the wall
that eternal mark on the wall
is proof that you were and always will be
my sweet angry loving spiteful beautiful child
with a hairbrush.

—–

Elaine D. Walton was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1970. She writes poetry about about all aspects of the human condition. Elaine graduated magna cum laude from The University of Texas at Arlington in 2002 with a B.F.A. in Painting and lives in New Jersey with her dog, Majik.