Bullet Proof

The glass sees both ways An invitation to stare But never sight unseen Hatred thick like smoke Solidifying the bond This overwhelming need To be better than Instead of inferior Though I know better The judgement scales Finding me light as air I know she sees through me Past glass and skin Through bone and … Continue reading Bullet Proof

The Beginning of Hope

OldBlackManThe room is deathly quiet, save for the soft sound of sniffling in the corner. That’s where the baby is, asleep on the floor, atop her favorite blanket. There was no money for a crib, or a mattress, or even a pacifier to soothe the child’s sore gums, so he had improvised. It was something he had experience in, the improvisation, not the child. He is absurdly afraid of the child, which is the reason for the separation, the opposite corners.

The man is a study in contradictions, with his frayed suspenders and designer shirt that do nothing to hide his emaciated figure. Indeed he appears to be wasting away as he sits there staring out the large, clear window. He breathes a sigh of relief that the child is asleep. The previous night had been a long and harrowing experience, punctuated by screams that pierced the static air of the room. He aged a year in one night.

The woman left in winter, during the longest month. He knows because he marks it on his calendar, the old one that he recycles from year to year. It is missing April but April never seems to come when he wants it to anyway so it is not relevant to him. He cannot remember why she walked out the door, but he can remember the vacant look in her eyes, the ones that used to give back more than they took in. She looked at him with those strange eyes and walked out the door.

The baby shifts on the blanket and he recognizes this as a precursor to the child waking up again. He covers his eyes with one large dark brown hand, hoping to preserve this quiet for just a few moments longer, knowing that it is probably an impossible dream. He wishes he were the one who left. He had been thinking about it, of course. The child hadn’t been part of the plan for his life, no more than it had been for hers. But he cannot abandon it now. The stirring continues. Continue reading “The Beginning of Hope”

I Grieve, Too

“Though it takes all the strength in me, and all the world can see I’m losing such a central part of me… I recognize how much I’ve lost, but I cannot face the cost.” -Peter Gabriel I can’t remember the last time I cried because someone died. Maybe it was when my Nana died. Odds … Continue reading I Grieve, Too

Still

358966The old farmhouse shudders against the oncoming wind, frightened of even more damage that would settle a score it hadn’t known it owed. A whistling sound screams against its sides and squeezes through the cracks under the doors, more eerie than a little bit, precursor to the squall that will come after midnight, when the house is all tucked in and snoring comfortably. An old cocker spaniel lies on the mat by the kitchen door, ears cocked, ready to defend his family against whatever is making the horrible keening noise. Of course that noise is him, but he listens nonetheless, oblivious.

A fire crackles in the stone fireplace, warming the thick rug in the den as the sparks get perilously close. The young man of the house stoked it quite full before he turned in for the night, as is his nightly habit, meant to ward off the need to get up in the middle of the night to re-fill the behemoth. A patter on the roof would remind him of little feet running pell mell across its surface if he were awake to hear its drumming. It is night rain coming down slowly but surely, and it will soon multiply in frequency and in pressure, but for now it runs across like the lost child they have tried so hard to forget.

A solitary human soul is tortured in the face of the nearby onslaught. The years have not been kind to her. Her lined face and the deep creases around her eyes are testament to that, that and long nights without sleep. She fights against herself harder than the elements pound on the house she has called home for longer than she would care to admit. Her back is ramrod straight against the wall as she sits up in the bed she shares with a corpse. Continue reading “Still”