So Many Opportunities Lost
Hers was a complete change of personality, moods, and friends
Her joyful happy self, turned rapidly sarcastic, mean, and secretive
Her eating habits changed; she did not need food any more.
Stopped eating with the family, painted her room black.
Threw her flute into the garbage. She had outgrown it.
Scoffed that she had ever been a cheerleader, calling them names.
Her friends stopped coming. She made new ones, they were in and out.
None stayed long. Just a few minutes.
Her family saw glimpses of her unhappiness as she ran in and out
Of her room, slamming doors, playing music, not doing her homework.
Her A’s and B’s nosedived into D’s and F’s, and she laughed about it.
Rapid distrust toward her siblings. Name-calling, which had never happened.
Stopped going to school until it was nigh onto impossible to keep up.
Sneaked out of the house at night; they never knew where she would be.
Left in cars with people she did not know. Parents blamed her friends.
It was their fault, not hers. She was their princess. She was perfect.
Secrecy became the norm. Her laughter became loud and ugly.
Her prettiness was gone; her hair was dingy. She stopped wearing deodorant.
Grandparents wondered where she was at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
They were given many lies from parents and her siblings. Everyone covering.
Not my child! They said when the possible truths were pointed out.
That does not happen in our neighborhood.
We are not that kind of parent.
Our child would never be an alcoholic or a drug addict.
The entire family circled the wagons,
refusing to join neighborhood barbeques.
The children were taught that the people at church
were do-gooders, and look-downers.
The children were taught that the neighbors
they once adored were now the enemy.
They were protecting the princess,
who seldom came home, sneaking in and out,
When they were asleep. Not in our family! They said. Not in our family!
The do-gooders and down-lookers were prominent at her funeral.
They had raised children also who had been lured into
the terrifying swallow-up world of drugs and alcohol.
They had so many stories; horrifying real life stories
they had never shared even though they had innumerable
opportunities at church functions and bar-b-ques.
Copyright © Caren Krutsinger | Year Posted 2019