I caught the steel at the blade of her smile,
and plunged through the hall of imagined safety -
a yank of covers for my eyes. Ears still fizzing
at the hiss of a seethe - Back to bed! Her urgent, Gin fumed
order obeyed, I escaped parental wrath on wings of a breath
that raised me up above the ensuing din.
Later, it was him that slunk into my darkness - afraid I'd heard.
I feigned an angel dreaming, exhaled some demons, then slept
for what seemed a minute, and woke to a disconcerting
resumption of normality; Her in the clatter of our kitchen,
where I felt sure she belonged, administering
tenderness; dabbing Dad's head with kindness; wetting his grazes
with dishwater from a bleached sponge; dotting the blotches
of his green and purpling mask of shame, while squirming guilty,
I in the corner, watched him wince the once or twice
as her fingers poked and licked the split just below his eye; his lip
cracked in apologetic cringes. Embarrassed, pathetic, livid.
I wondered if this would be the time
to mention about my bed - needing
fresh sheets -
or should I keep quiet?