alclala child photograph

In every house and apartment

in every hotel room and rental

the doors shook with the sound

of your shouts. Sometimes

you screamed and the windows

in my heart shattered. Small birds

hit against the front door trying

to force their way in. You sobbed

naked into the shower curtain, the water

crying down the drain. You clung to

the man you loved more than anything,

as he wrenched away. Where was I?

Huddled under the blankets, small girl

in the dark room, the car lights

flashing on the wall as my stepfather

drove down the driveway, the Dogwoods

swaying their shadows of blooming crosses

on the walls. You stayed behind the shut door

of your heart, pretending that I slept through it all.

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