November 21, 2011

4:00 am

she lights another cigarette
even though one is already burning
she looks at her son through unfocused eyes
his face is etched with fear and sadness
she points unsteadily at him 
and murmurs incoherently
blaming him for imagined transgressions
she wavers between self-pity
and blinding anger
the boy reflexively rubs the small round burn scar on his hand
and prays that she will soon pass out
but his mother refuses to surrender to unconsciousness
he knows from experience
not to speak or to move
he must just sit there and try to weather this storm
he carefully looks at the clock
and thinks to himself
this is going to be a long night


copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

7 comments:

  1. Very sad but there is much honesty in these verses. I imagine this boy and his mother exist many times over in the world. I think:

    "he knows from experience
    not to speak or move"

    really illustrates the futility of the struggle perfectly.

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  2. Very touching... <3

    "he carefully looks at the clock
    and thinks to himself
    this is going to be a long night"

    ReplyDelete
  3. an everyday tragedy in some households - powerful words

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very dark. Well done.

    Having a mother as the antagonist makes it more jarring, mothers are supposed to nurture.

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  5. your words are chosen so carefully it is very powerful and adds so much meaning. i really enjoy your writing :)

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  6. It actully is based on a true story. I was that boy

    ReplyDelete

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