And in that time
You still haven’t changed.

You haven’t tried.
To know me.
Only try to control me.
You think it’s my job to cater to you?

I was seven,
Or around that age,
When you two finally separated.
I was relieved.

You never deserved her.
And she may not be there
As much as I need her,
But even then you haven’t earned her love.
So why would her kids be any different?

Do you have any idea
What we like?
What we need?
What we do?
Do you only have space for one of us?

I couldn’t care less about favoritism.
You deprived us of fifteen years.

Fifteen years of laughing.
Fifteen years of vulnerability.
Fifteen years of hurt,
Fifteen years of healing.

We’ve grown.
killed parts of ourselves.
repaired parts of ourselves.
Have you?

“Your anxiety is fake.
You’re overdramatic.”?
But was my brother overdramatic
When you slapped his Gameboy out of his hand?
Or when you emotionally abused him?
How about the times now
When you made him feel like he didn’t matter?

Will you acknowledge this
Or drown it out
For everything else?

You don’t get to just pretend
Fifteen years of your life didn’t happen.
I don’t get to pretend fifteen years didn’t happen,
So why do I have to deal with your baggage?

Ariel Vidal is a poet and writer from Bushwick, Brooklyn. She graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2019, earning a BA in Criminology.