I sometimes sit at the kitchen table and just listen.
From here I am perfectly placed to hear the echos of
your childlike shrill as you protest in a drunken haze.
‘No, i ain’t ‘aving dat.’ I can hear your tears at the back
of your throat, you’re dragging them across your tongue
forcing them to fall, but your eyes remain dry. I have to
remind myself that you are my age and still living
like a child. A child lost somewhere in adult form among
the empty wine bottles and powder topped classic books.
I shiver at the very thought of such disrespect. But you have
been bred on disrespect and you shrug it from
your sullen shoulders leaving behind that chip. I hear your
mothers stomach before I interpret her words, deep and
ragged she pushes them out with force from deep down
inside. Her profanities are laced in decades of hardened
fat, a vile stench clinging to each word as though it were
a dagger aimed at your back, to sit quietly alongside
the others she placed there. ‘He’ is a soft mumble of words
that match his smile. The gentle calm as he slowly sips on
red wine or vodka or gin or whatever it is you have dished out
into those overused glasses. One becomes two and his
eyes glaze, three becomes a line snorted in full view,
four becomes the anger in those piercing blue eyes.
Five becomes the thunder that rattles the walls as Mother
dearest sleeps. Six and he is heard. Seven and she sleeps.
Eight and a tornado rips through the room. The callous shriek
of who loves who more, ‘stupid, bitch, cow, slut.’ the lamp
is smashed, his voice gentle but his movements heavy.
Your eyes are no longer dry. You will scream as you always do
frustration spilling onto your bedroom walls. ‘Out.’ she’ll
scream her belly roaring. In the morning you’ll gather up
the remains of proof of who she loves more, as she sits
on the phone to her precious. Her sneers a nagging rumble
of the hunger she has to defeat you. I sometimes sit at the
kitchen table and listen as you repeat history, again and again.
Karen Hayward © 2016