Return to Sender

December Poetry Prompt 6 – Letters Unsent

Day 6 Prompt is “Letters Unsent”

I had to sit with this for a day. 

20 years ago, I gained a brother. One week later, I lost a brother. He was born 1 month premature: holes in his heart, mishapen organs, a whole flurry of complications. The nurse said, “It’s your choice but you should just pull the plug.” I was angry. Angry at the nurse who delivered the news like a weather report. Angry at God for being an asshole. Angry at my parents for giving up on him. I rebelled and questioned them. “Why won’t you give him a chance?!” Their only answer was “God works in mysterious ways.” I started to give up on religion after that. What a fucking copout.

Years later, I’m not as angry.  I was wrapped up in my own selfish needs to fully understand the repercussions of a choice like that. I couldn’t fathom the pain my parents felt for losing a child.

It still hurts to think about him.

Maybe my brother would have had a rough life.
Maybe not. Who the fuck can say, right?

Anyway, that’s enough exposition. Here’s my poem.
I find the courage to
write to you again.

My questions scatter on 
composition paper like black 
marbles, crashing into white 

I grip the pen with numb fingers,
ripping through the paper, 
black crosses and slashes 
adorning my Religion notebook.

The ticking bomb between
my ears threatens to explode 
if I don’t diffuse the words into 
light blue wires on the page.

I ask for forgiveness, 
for waking you up 
when I called the nurse 
a bitch. 

for scaring you, 
when I slammed the door 
to your room. 

for not being there, when
they took you off the respirator.

I ask if you’re doing all right,
tell you about suicide, about 
the flowers left for you.

I rant about our padres,
how it was unfair that
you didn’t get a chance.
I ask if He ever cared 
to answer my questions, 
or if he just left them on ‘Seen.’

I wasn’t sure of your address 
so I wrote down ‘Heaven’
added three stamps, just in case, 
dropped it off before school.

I get your letter back.

Return to Sender.
Insufficient Address.
Unable to Forward.

I wish the Post Office tried harder.

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