S U S A N R I C H A R D S O N
The comfort of a drunken fog
begins to thaw.
It is like this every morning.
Anger scratches my throat,
awakening a storm that fills my head.
I open my eyes to the memory
of my father’s wife
firing insults like ammunition,
bullets from a ruthless tongue.
He is too tired to dodge the assault
His eyes dart around the room,
hurt and confusion giving way to rage.
He lashes out at his attacker,
calls her thief,
Her simper is a deception,
a diversion on the battle field,
to subdue her victim
while she searches
for new weapons to wield.
He is a falling man,
a mind at the mercy of dementia,
trapped in a house with a jailer
who punishes him for his disease.
Fear is the conquistador.
He begins to weep.
Fury spreads itself in layers
across my teeth,
a waking nightmare that fractures my jaw.
I am reminded of how life aches
how rage and silence leave scars.
I try to remember sweetness as gravel fills my mouth.
Photo credit: Urban Isolation is a mixed media by Ken Figurski
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