My parents don’t sleep in the same bed. To a six year old girl, That never mattered. But to a seven year old girl, it does. She knows that other kids Have parents who sleep together, In the same bed, Every night. To a seven year old girl, It doesn’t matter that her parents Don’t talk about stuff. But an eight year old girl knows. Other parents have conversations, Small ones, big ones. An eight year old girl doesn’t know What an arranged marriage is. But a nine year old does. What a nine year old doesn’t know Is that her parents fight. But a ten year old girl knows That her mother thinks her father isn’t enough And her father can’t stand her mother. Fortunately, a ten year old girl Doesn’t know About divorces. But an eleven year old girl does. She also knows that the only reason Her parents are still married Is because they can’t get rid of her. A twelve year old knows That she’s a burden A constant reminder Of two lives gone astray. A fifteen year old young woman knows That whatever her life brings her A sad broken marriage shouldn’t be included. A sixteen years old girl knows better Than to call her friends over for a night out. What if they find That her parents are messed up? An eighteen year old girl knows That she wasn’t the product of love But of a tradition. Of hate. Of unsaid things. Ripped stitches. Lifeless birthdays. An eighteen year old looks at every other five year old girl And wishes she never finds out.
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