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I did it, and I’m Sorry

there is a book
on the younger brother’s shelf
“I did it, and I’m sorry”

she stands staring at the books she passed on to her little brother
face blank, long and slack
hair greasy, unwashed for days
body slung low from exhaustion
as she reaches for the thin, familiar hardcover

the book is an ugly yellow ochre in the dimly lit room
with two beavers on the cover, one looking exasperated and the other scared
she folds her legs underneath her
falls to the navy, toy-littered carpet

she opens the book and begins to reads

lingering a little too long on every page

so she can gently touch the pictures

and tears slowly splash onto the faded pages

illustrated with cute animals doing little wrongs

going to their parents, admitting it, and apologzing

and being forgiven

she sits in her little brother’s room
reading a children’s book
with a simple moral
that seems so easily executed

but she didn’t break a lamp
and the one to be apologized too isn’t her mom
she tried to kill herself
and she is so, so sorry
but she just can’t find the strength to say

“i did it

i ruined everything

and i’m sorry, i was being thoughtless

can’t we just go back to the way it was before….”

or maybe she should just
keep it simple, take the lesson from the book
acknowledge that she can’t glue her life back together like a cheap broken vase
and that all she can do is say:

“I did it…

and I’m sorry”