The Art of Invisibility
By Rosa Cruz
She mastered the art of invisibility
when he roared home from the pub
knuckle missiles heat-seeking
her mother, the furniture or her.
She ghosted along corridors
fear scything heart and nerves;
she learnt to breathe silently,
not speak, laugh or cry out loud.
At mealtimes she’d shrink into the chair,
eat quietly, leave nothing behind,
(Please God, don’t let me cough),
made herself invisible.
Janus-like, outside he was respectable clerk,
church member, his private face
and gusts of fury saved for home.
Now this raging Jurassic beast
of her childhood is himself shrunken,
eaten away, mind splintering.
With spasms of disquiet, at times
she catches herself replicating his finger
to lips gesture of concentration.
First published in Reach Poetry.
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