a call

And then like a bolt out of the blue you call me
as if everything wasn't finished that last time
I'm pretty sure I made myself abundantly clear
are there so many ways to understand a word
a word as simple as no, not in a million years.

Your voice on the phone betrays that you know
that this is not what we agreed, nothing like it
and yet you think you can persuade me now
that the passage of time will have softened me
how little you know, and how much you took.

You took someone I love better than own my life
then over years you belittled and betrayed her
took the shining optimism, the strength, the joy
and snuffed it out through your need to control
and giving her a daughter wasn't fair exchange.

Although by extension as I love the mother so too
do I love the daughter, she who holds the spirit
of the mother I once knew, and will once again
for the damage is not as deep as first it seemed
she has an unquenchable light, a fighters heart.

I listen to your voice as you attempt to find words
that will break down the wall of silence I put up
But I'm not my sister, I feel no compulsion to reply
to waste breath, to waste emotional energy on you
your threats have no impact, little meaning to me.

For I haven't been subject to many years of you
leaning on me, dragging me down, pulling me under
you have this insistence that you are the victim
that this is all a misinterpretation of your needs
don't you get it? Your needs mean nothing to me.

Let me make it plain. I have no time for you
I have no intention of ever meeting with you
the day you left our lives was a happy one for me
the only sadness was on the face of your girl
who is very much her own person now, not yours.

You throw her well-being at me like a weapon
knowing that my commitment to her lasts
remember when you failed her I stepped in
for love and stability are far more important
than any rights you demanded in exchange.

I'm not interested in helping you re-establish
a foothold in their lives, not despite you, no
but because the potential for harm is so real
so very present still, I can hear it in your voice
that edge of command, of violence, good-bye.

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