Hand Me Down

I gazed through the back window
In a car in Warsaw
Staring backwards
Past the houses
With jumbled yards, and
Those with squared lines and
Mowed precision
Past the jumbled years
And expectations
Drying up like fall leaves
I stared
Into the broken homes
And dark rooms, the violence
The battered hours
The flesh on flesh
Twisting, pounding,
Staining childhood with the
Bloated, purple corpses
Of hope, or trust, or
Any layer of security.

Still a child,
Still purpled and sullied,
I saw it move through
Generational brokenness-
An excruciating inheritance,
Those who came before
Cast echoes through
The ghosts that are to come,
And I prayed fervently:

Let it end with me.
Let me be the last one.

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