Daughter’s Prayer

by Carolyn Elias

I told you I hated you

and I smiled 

when I heard you crying

on the toilet.
It was revenge 

for the three birthdays 

you forgot to call because you were busy

doin’ time. 

for gawky neighbors eyeballin’ me

‘cause they knew you were no good

and when their whispers settled

in your ears we’d move on
to another scummy apartment

with revolving boyfriend’s air mattresses.

New place, new smile.

This time. This time. This time

you’d do better
at the next con on the next john

I prayed every time 

would be the last time.

This time. This time. This time

I’d be lucky
enough to find you dead on the toilet.

Read Carolyn D. Elias’ poetry in the anthology: Turn Left at Nowhere. Her work has been published by Lunch Ticket, Apeiron Review, Sassafras Literary Magazine, East Jasmine Review, 1947, Slink Chunk Press, The Tower Journal, Digging Through the Fat, The Magnolia Review, Decades Review, S/tick, HelloHorror, The Altar Collective, The Gambler Magazine, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, Crack the Spine, The Voices Project, Torrid Literature Journal, and Beakful. Look for Carolyn’s upcoming publications in The Poetry Storehouse, Poetica Magazine, Vending Machine Press, The Bookends Review, and Wilderness House Literary Review. Follow her on twitter @CarolynDElias.

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