Violence

October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Violence is a terrible thing for a child to carry around

When I was young I often saw my parents fight

My father would tell my mother he would kill her

Then he would threaten us kids

My mother would threaten to leave

And he would threaten to kill himself

 

Mrs Wilson lived two houses down the street

She would come over for coffee

Sometimes her face was puffy and discolored

We would be sent outside to play

Once I hid in the laundry room beside the kitchen and watched them

Through the wooden louvers of the door

My mother comforted our sobbing neighbor

Like she would one of us after falling off a bicycle

 

Violence is a terrible thing for a child to carry around

Like receiving a shining silver dollar

From the moldy purse of a distant relative who smells of mothballs

They don’t understand what it is or its purpose

Until one day a playground bully turns them upside down

And shakes the coin from their pocket

Other children scramble to pick it up screaming

“Money, get the money.”

Their circle tightens around the gleaming profile of Eisenhower

Little fingers with dirty nails claw desperately

To be the new owner of this hypnotizing treasure

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