Night Terror

God! There it is again.  Shit, control the breathing, can’t even hear myself think.  Pipes – no, wind through trees – no, cat coming in – yes, yes that’s it, bloody mog.  Ahhhhh, thank god.  I hate getting so scared...............................”Meeeeaaaaaoooooow”

Gulp, shit, shit, shit, shit... what the hell are you doing in here, you never sleep in here! Oh my god, oh my god...breathing, slow down!  Feet on stairs..No, this is NOT funny.  Cold sweat, hair on end, panting out of fear.  Disbelieving terror watching the door open as a darker shadow in the dark.

“Lie still and I won’t hurt you”

Crawling backwards up the bed, only realising I’m moving when my back hits the cast iron bed head. “Ha Ha Ha Ha” fast, monotonous, involuntary notes on the outbreath.  

Hands on my ankle.  I kick.  He pulls and I’m dragged down the bed.  I kick again to get back away.  His fingers on my face, either side of my mouth, making a ridiculous moue.  “Nooooooooo,  Nooooooo, Nooooooo, Pleeeeeeease” I’m keening.  I’ve never used the word before, but I know that’s what it is.  Visceral, like a cornered animal.

Trying to curl on my side.  “Gaaaaaaaaahhh” Eye’s saucer wide.  Looking down, Blood! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.  Looking up.  He’s interested.  Oh god, he’s not angry, or excited, he’s interested.

“Please don’t hurt me”.  Nonsensical, too late.  He holds my wrists with one hand, kneels across my thighs and with an underhand grasp on the handle slowly...slowly pushes the point of the knife into the hollow on the right side above my hip.

I’m going to die.  Calm.  Sadness.  Floating above. Tears.  Dark welcome from the edges coming in and away.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Not, i'm delighted to say, based on personal experience.  Except the experience as a child and occasionally as an adult hearing a not entirely familiar noise in the deepest dark and letting the imagination that brings me here run away with me.

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thrown under the bus

nowadays all she does is whine about her bodily pains,

but when you were left alone, 

she stayed drunk, prowling the bars

days on end, 

oblivious to the emotional wreckage left

on your chest, like a hot iron

melted through the tender heart of a 10 year old,

the open wound to the 


cauterized shut

too soon,

without even leaving any open flesh

for the pain to be released,

seared closed with the shame, pain, and false pride of generations,

sealed in for years like a safety box of magnets,

pulling you towards anything and everything self-destructive

in a desperate search for some morsel of hope,

that the next christmas dinner might be more than 

knocking on the doors of neighbors, being lucky enough to be

asked in to share a holiday meal, 

and an attempt to be noticed for something other than the burden

you were to her deep and fervent longing for 

the escape, into smoke filled rooms,

that reeked with the heavy, putrid smell of week-old frying grease,

cigarettes, and hairspray, that became one of your main

reasons for going to live with your dad--

other than the day she up and left for california,

a 50 dollar bill to substitute her mac and cheese, dribbled with 

one and a half inches of ashes off a pall mall,

only to be less than reluctantly welcomed by him,

and a stepbrother who most always was 

notably more worthy of better dirtbikes, nicer clothes 

and a much more frequent pat on the back 

for a job well done, 

that most often wasn't.


a dollar for him and quarter for you, along with the bottom bunk,

that smelled like pee from all the years he wet the bed,

only ever good enough for sloppy seconds--

and then there was brownie,

poor broken down swayback, with skin infections,

baldspots and degenertive bone disease,

in light of your brother's black stallion stud,

as if the 6 inch scar on the back of your leg wasn't enough 

from your father's drunken rage with a 4 inch hunting knife,

and the glass from the window that left it's souvenir the night he threw you

across the room, all before the age of 14.



i may have shot that horse between the eyes too.





11:37 PM 6/26/2013





Author's Notes/Comments: 

Just a poem about a kid.