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(get yourself together)

You have beautiful children!

thank you! We’re so blessed

(they terrify me

can you see that

In my eyes? I hope


They need so much

from me and I

am so empty

but I am trying

trying so very hard

trying to keep it


You look great!

thanks, so sweet of you to say!

(But I got fat, you see?

After the babies

And the tubal

The ligation

They didn’t tell me

Would throw my hormones

Into a panic



That keeps my hands shaking


he says I’m schizo

and also my gall bladder,

see these scars?

Was diseased

And so they cut me open

And took some things out

And that made me fat


But I am stretched so thin

I think you see

You see

You see

Right through me

To his wife

Their mother

Stellar employee



Primary income



Are you writing?

Maybe when the kids are older I’ll find the time again.

(I tried for a while, but

the babies would cry

and he would scream

and my hands shake so hard I can’t

hold my pen or

rummage the keys of

My piano anymore—

Wait, did we sell it?

To pay the Lowe’s card

I think, yes

I did

But don’t tell him, okay?

I do what I have to do

To keep the peace

To make peace

Please tell me there will be some peace)

Happy Anniversary!

Thanks! Can’t believe it’s been seven years!

(Two thousand

Five hundred

Fifty-seven days

Counting two leap years

I feel them all

In the chattering of my teeth

Don’t tell him but

I am thinking

Of leaving

If I can just not be afraid

For a day

Just a day

Maybe I can find a way



Out of this disaster I made.)

Are you okay?

Oh, we’re fine! All is well.

(my mama calls

to ask

If I’ll leave before

They find me dead

In a ditch

—Like that woman on the news—

Before he snaps

Because She heard him yelling

One of the bad times

When I hid under the desk

And now

She wants to pretend I am already


If I don’t get myself the hell out of this

She will come make me

Or at the least

Take these babies

Away from our chaos


So much chaos

And it is day

Two thousand

Six hundred


And while I am counting days

She says

They are counting on me)

Gina Heron

South Carolina

©2018 by Gina Heron.