Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Going Home"

By Kristin Moore

I am driving north
to see the tornado.
The tornado's name is Ally.
She is 12.
She is sad.

I fear
she fears
she is alone.
1725 days ago our relationship was beautiful,
but she was seven then and mom was still alive.

She used to deck out in pink and beg me to paint her nails.
She used to be evenly bronzed from unending summer days, a stark contrast to

Her lemonade lightening hair that bounced in tow as she ran toward me yelling "Sissy, Sissy!"
Now she calls me Kristin. Contempt in every letter.

She is pale at the summer’s end. Her hair is dark brown.
She steals our brothers' oversized basketball shorts and runs with a much too grown up crowd.
She knows how to roll a blunt.
She is raising herself. Her mother overdosed.

Anxiety squeezes me.
So tightly
I lie awake,
Where is she
Who is she

Dad pays little attention to much other than the amount of soda in the fridge.
And the amount of Vicodin he has left.
I think he's suicidal.
I think he's using again.

So, for the first time since I was 17, which was seven years ago, I
will return to that toxic environment called "home."
I know I can't stay too long. I can only try to make a positive
impact, a change, a single thought that sparks this little girl not to settle
for what her life is at this moment.
Not to quit, Ally, not to quit.


I am driving north
knowing that things may not get better, they may even
get worse, but at this moment, I'm pausing
putting my own life
on hold,
because I can't live
knowing I didn't try.

Kristin Moore recently earned a bachelor's degree from the University at Albany, SUNY. She is spending time with her family in the Adirondacks where she grew up. At the end of the year, she will be moving to Burlington, Vermont, to pursue a career in the field of adoloscent drug counseling and mentoring.

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