Sounds and light bringing back a sad old memory.


I still remember the old linoleum floor
Symmetrical patterns narrowing down the hallway
Raised voices, high pitched with desperation
We hide, curiosity and fear bring us here
As it brought them to the argument that ensues

He is six foot tall, but not today
Defeated, red faced hunched over the kitchen sink,
A green glass bottle raised in his hand
Throwing an odd emerald glow across the lino
Sunlight dancing mockingly as she screams

She is standing over him, wild eyed and enraged
Tells him to "Just do, why don't you? Go on!"
And he does, bringing his arm down hard
First a hard crack, then as the pieces fell...
A series of almost musical tinkling sounds

Now jagged shards point from the neck in his hands
The same clever hands that taught me how to write
Pointing at his throat... "You want this? Do you?"
Little sis and I huddled beneath the table...
"No" she whispers... "No Daddy... we don't"

They both spin around in shock and shame
We freeze, all of us stunned into terrified silence
Even at 11 I understand now, everything in this room
Everyone.. is, hearts, innocence
Dad reaches out a shaky hand,"Oh my babies, I'm sorry"

I cannot speak or move, but little sis hums low
Arms around knees, rocking as she comforts herself...
Mum sobs softly as she habitually picks up the pieces
And Dad walks out of the door for the last time
Crying, "All I ever wanted you to do was just love me."

Poetry by Purple Phoenix
Read 689 times
Written on 2014-03-12 at 16:45

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This poem's subject is grim and powerful. A lot of people here describe similar situations, but it's important to remember that this is a poetry site. What matters most isn't a poem's subject, but how well it's written, the poem's poetry. Yours is very good.

Elle The PoetBay support member heart!
Sad, yet family life is not always as pictured in advertising - it is harsh and as children our innocence slowly gets stripped away - :-(

Elle x

Rob Graber
Such a powerful, heart-rending story! Bravo!

An all too common and too human slice of life in the frustrated, complex lives we live. With your words you show the fear of the children, the anger of the adults, and the realization of the man once his frustration is drained. An excellent piece.