May 2, 2012

the escape

timid footsteps
careful not to wake him
she inches out of her bedroom
out into the long, oppressive hallway
holding her breath
as every creaky floorboard screams up at her
her heart is beating so loudly
she is sure that he will be able to hear it 
echoing off of the nicotine stained walls
she inches past his bedroom door
where his drunken snores rumble like thunder from the other side
she stands in front of his room for an eternity
her small fists are clenched and trembling with rage
she pictures herself opening the door
and smothering him in his sleep
so that he will never
be able to hurt anyone else
but she doesn’t
she just takes a deep breath
clings tightly to her worn, stuffed bear
and slowly creeps past his bedroom
past his violence and abuse
she moves more quickly as she descends the stairs
she is sprinting by the time she gets to the front door 
bursting forth into the world
she is reborn
leaving behind this house and all of its
dark secrets
she now runs as fast as she can
down the gravel lane
towards freedom

copyright © 2012 Kevin Routh


  1. A beatifully executed and compassionate piece of writing!

    Take care

  2. emotional writing, i held my breath with her. i still have my teddy.

  3. Such an unfortunate backstory, but your poem brings to light that even in such circumstances there is the hope for freedom.

    1. I'm an optimist - there's always hope...

  4. A much deserved freedom....very well written!

    1. Thanks so much! I really enjoyed writing this one.

  5. That is really well written Kevin, I did the same as Alex and held my breath with her.
    I love it !

    1. Thanks! I saw that you commented on several of my things and I really appreciate it!

  6. A difficult read, for its heart-breaking content, but these are stories which should be told, so the awful secret of abuse in the home can be ended.

  7. you give a sense how each movement means so much. it's all about the movements

    renal test

  8. Kevin,

    This is a most effective and affecting piece of writing. Scary....


  9. Hi Kevin, it's a pleasure to meet you too :)
    This is powerful in its truth. There is so much abuse and even though it is not the taboo subject to discuss openly that it used to be, there is still so much of it happening. As a child victim of all types of abuse myself, I can so relate to this but, thankfully, I am not a victim anymore. I refused to allow the past to live in my present a long time ago. The anger that stems from the fear is so real. Yes, these stories need to be shown the light and I am so glad she broke free, hopefully running to a better world.

  10. This piece felt familiar. I have done this running. I have left twice as a child. Twice as an adult. I wonder where the count will end. The last gasp into freedom was what we all wished for her. I hope it lasts. I love to write this kind of piece...where you climb inside a situation not your own, and try to feel it from the inside out. It helps me to be compassionate and empathetic. There is always a backstory!

  11. Beautiful poem. And ends on a positive note, freedom...and hope for a better tomorrow.

  12. I KNOW HER. I knew him. Escape was blessed. Very well crafted!

  13. I read it again !! It really is that good :)


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