He wasn’t ready to be a father.
That’s how my mother put it.
You cannot blame a plum
that hasn’t yet ripened
into a prune.
It was simply one fact among the few:
He never called or returned my letters
but he did send a gold necklace
when I was four,
a heart pendant that I never took off
until it was so dented
by me pretending it was a retainer.
Now that I have a child of my own
I expected I would finally feel fury
but it just won’t grow.
My mother planted get-on-with-it seeds
in my brand new heart
and like any wartime garden,
there is nothing dramatic
to dwell on.