the anxiety of an adult orphan

There’s no one now older than me.

That makes me top of the family tree

There’s no one below to catch my fall.

I’m alone with old photo albums to trawl.

Thought I’d be fine after decades of their stress,

but from their loss there’s now an emptiness

I never expected to feel. After years of abuse

I honestly thought I had nothing to lose.

I hated for so long, resenting them fully

never feeling free to be what I could be.

And yet, without them here, my cellular sense

is vague and unsupported. Money matters clench

my tummy tight, as fear snakes up my throat,

my heart feels hard against parented people who gloat

at their mother’s day, father’s day cards and meals.

Quietly I know that one day they too will have to feel

what it’s like to lose and never get back that chance

to appreciate, to forgive, to enjoy the dance.

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