although revisiting trauma is not on my bucket list, i don’t always decline taking the ride when it shows up pounding on the door of memories.

sometimes i write it off as a headache and go on about the day and other times it feels the walls are closing in if i don’t open and allow them inside to roam freely amongst the furniture deftly arranged in its place.

in the corner is a large ficus to replace the bathtub where mom had her head smashed in repeatedly against its porcelain arms.

i’d always wondered if his rage was planned, if my presence of screaming and begging him to stop was what made him stop, or if it was the splattering of her blood on his hands and my face, or perhaps the limpness that overtook her because she’d not fought back.

between the ficus tree in the corner and the dandelions right outside the window, i’d hoped to replace the memory with something not only beautiful, but durable and protective. i imagined mom bathing in its milkiness and her head being impossible to grip by his hands.

i imagined that when he chased me to the next room my cries were the wind blowing on the dandelions and making all my wishes for safety come true and that he’d simply disappear from over me and that i’d forget what it meant to be frozen in place and time.

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