There, There

I wrestle with sleep –
need overpowered by unease,
senses on high alert,
as if a child
trying to intuit
the degree of volatility
in father’s drunken slur

what will it take
to find rest,
to reassure
the littles
that the tyrant is gone

and life will unfold
as it will
without the stress
of constant monitoring.



You think we don’t know
what happens in the darkest hours;
that somehow slumber blankets,
plunges us into oblivion….

The same slamming of fists
that awakens you, alerts,
drags us from deepest sleep,
thrust into the violence

No amount of denial shields
from the trail of bloody droplets,
witnessing his arm on your throat,
threatening….always threatening…

we have risen to burning rubber
watched with the same submissive spite,
powerless to call for help, muted by
the futility of endless abuse, bystanders

cowered by a caregiver’s venomous spittle,
estranged witnesses,  marginalized,
held hostage by the choking reality
of an offending appendage.

(Image:  Pinterest)


Walk Away

Maniacal, trigger-crazy
big dick resolves nothing
with brutality, seeks asylum
in insanity, blames confinements
for limitations, opinionated,
wrongly focused, nerves
ungrounded, charged.

No wit can end his
cycle of oppression,
his last fair companion,
no longer supportive,
contrived investigation,
pushed for incarceration

unspeakable silence
no religion to save him
rejected at every turn

bumped into compassion
signs of pain like neon lights
beckoning the unwary, but
alibis were suspicious,
his composure too hyped
like an uncaged animal

Move on, Ladies
no Beast was ever tamed
by Beauty, even uncertain endings
would be better than life with
this expired degenerate,
don’t fall for that:
“It’s all smoke screens” pity
he is trapped, a poor example,
has broken many hearts – dead
on arrival – dons practiced humility,
wants to please but is inclined to
repeat patterns.

(Image: upstream

Day 191: The Fear Response

I am little and hiding behind the green-brocade, swivel chair in our family’s living room.  My mother is sitting on the chair, but she doesn’t see me.  The room is full of adults talking, smoking, and laughing, but I am afraid.  My father has pulled out a gun and is pointing it at another man.  I want to scream out to him to stop, but I cannot.  My voice is frozen.  I am paralyzed and helpless. 

I wake up.

And remember.

My parents loved to party when I was a child, and I wanted to be part of it.  In later years, I would perch on the staircase and listen to the exploits, but the dream takes place in the early years, when we lived in a bungalow, and I would wander out of my bedroom and hide behind the living room chair, wanting to be close to my mother and hoping I wouldn’t be found out.

My father never actually owned a gun that I know of, but he did have a violent temper, and on more than one occasion ended the evening by beating up on one of the male guests.

I learned fear in my father’s home.  I learned that to step out of line was to invite violence.

What I didn’t learn is how to define that line, so I lived most of my childhood in irrational, and sometimes paralyzing fear.  Survival, unharmed, became a goal and focus.  I spent countless hours and years upon years trying to figure out how to avoid my father’s wrath.

And in the meantime, I failed to learn about a healthy fear response.

I didn’t flinch when my older sister took me to a biker bar when I was only twelve.

I didn’t think anything was amiss when I was allowed to stay out to all hours of the night, and no one asked where I’d been.

It never occurred to me to question a strange man giving me a ride home.

When home is a scary place, everything else seems tame.