Aberrant Maia

My Parent's Divorce

Woman holding her face

No matter how many times they argue, 
I can never get used to it. 
No matter how many times 
my mum cries, 
My heart will always be pained
by the sound. 
No matter how may times 
my father drinks his whiskey 
after a brawl, 
I can never get used to the sight. 

Their quarrels no longer revolve 
around a topic.
Years of marriage has led to
years of hardened bitterness
And in each argument,
a piece of it is released
And more seeps
into the hearts of my parents. 
Their smiling faces 
in their framed wedding photograph,
Looks at them below, 
While they engage in another row. 

I stifle my cries with my sleeve
Because if they hear me, 
I'd become the next subject 
of their heated exchange. 
Each night, I cry myself to sleep.

I dream of parents 
who love each other. 
I dream of laughter 
replacing the tense atmosphere 
in the house. 
I dream of nights of silence 
instead of infuriated voices. 
I dream only to wake up to reality. 

It has come as no surprise. 
My parents have divorced. 
I know it's not my fault, 
But I can't help but blame myself. 
I miss having both of my parents
Living in the same house. 
I can't freely talk about 
one parent to the other
Before they twist my story 
into a horrible narrative 
of their ex-partner. 
I'm tired of alternating 
between two houses. 
I'm tired 
of the awkward moments 
whenever my parents see each other
at my school events. 
I'm tired of each parent 
trying to be the better parent. 
So, I'm going back to sleep, 
To dream of a time 
my parents loved each other.

-Ayeyi O.A

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