Father slapped me across the face
When I asked him
Why he was never home
Mother collapsed onto the ground
When I called the nanny
Teacher shook her head
When I didn’t have
The parental permission slip signed,
Even a week later.
Friend gasped out loud
When I bought a cafeteria lunch
Because my mother didn’t pack me
A peanut butter and jelly
Like hers did.
Pastor nodded in my direction
With a sympathetic smile
When he saw me sitting in church alone
Nurse shrugged her shoulders
And handed me a bucket to throw up in
When Mother didn’t answer,
Even after ten calls.
But none of them ever asked how I felt,
Having parents who weren’t around.