10 letters, 4 syllables Dictionary; an item you bought me when we hung out.
I was begging for you to ask why I wanted it so bad, why I needed this item. Where all it had was a description for words, but you never did.

You never asked.

You never asked why I wanted it.
You never asked if it was to make me sound more intelligent for you to notice me, to care, to listen.
But you never asked.
You never asked if it was for an art project, a homework task, a vocabulary list where i could sound important enough for you to hear me.
Where I could make myself sound smart enough for you to listen.
For you to care.
For you to be what I always needed you to be; a dad.

Dad noun “a father”
Something you were supposed to be.
Something I wanted you to be.
But you never were because you never knew my birthday.
You never knew my favorite colors.
You never knew that I got published or I got an A in that art project.
Or what I wanted to do when I grew up.
Or that I always looked up to you.
I always saw you as something I wanted to be; hardworking.

But I never knew that these actions had consequences.
Too hardworking made you forget their birthdays.
Too hardworking made you too busy to care for your kids.
Too hardworking to notice that your job was killing your relationship with your children.
Too hardworking for you to show up at your school events.
To hardworking for you to care, to listen, to love me.

Dad why couldn't you just stop.
Just stop and realize that all I wanted was for you to ask.
For you to comfort me when I went through my first break up.
For you to show up when I need you.

When I was hurting,broken, raped, crying, laughing at a joke I wanted you to hear, proud of an award I made, in a hospital bed begging for someone to stop this pain, writing poetry to cope with my depression, my anxiety, my trauma, and your absence.

But you never did show up.
You never listened.
You never remembered.
And you never asked why I Wanted that 10 letters for 4 syllable words.

You never asked why I wanted that dictionary.

-- Jaxx G., 9th-12th Grade