I wish I had a chance to say goodbye
before the barrier between us thickened.

I wish I saw you for you
and not some shopping list.

I wish I noticed all the little things you did…
Like the blanket you put over me instead of yourself,
Like the way you gave me your very last
so I wouldn’t know the biting pain of hunger.

I wish I had done little things for you.
I wish I could be the daughter you would be proud of.

No matter how out of control I was,
you still managed to say ‘I love you’.

But I’m not blind.
When you think I’m not looking
I see the distant look in your eyes
and the way your right hand shakes just before you cry.
I can hear your ragged breaths
and broken cries through my bedroom walls.

I hate feeling like I’m the one who caused you hurt.
I don’t want to be strangers anymore, mommy.
Come back.
I miss you.

Your daughter