Mary Blair

Caught In The Middle


From under the bed
The screaming was no less.
I covered my ears
Hardly muffling the sound.
It would be my turn next
If I was found.

He had shoved me
Quickly under the bed.
Stood up, stepping forward
As the door was opened.
Father grabbed him,
Stumbling, drunk again.

Dragging him out
Into the living room,
And punched his young son
As if fighting his equal.
But my brother only screamed,
Father became more evil.

The silence that followed
Was just as scary.
Listening for him to come
Looking for me in hiding,
Curled up, terrified,
Trembling while waiting.

But he did not come tonight.
My brother returned bleeding
All over his face, cradling his arm.
Limping to a corner he sat
Saying its safe to come out now
Father was taking a nap.

This didn’t happen everyday,
Some days we were lucky
He wouldn’t come home.
Nobody had to be hiding,
We could play like other kids
And there were no beatings.

Ever since I could remember,
Our father was always drunk.
He never was not angry,
Sometimes it turned into a rage.
And he would be merciless
With the beatings he gave.

Mother went to work one day
And never did return.
Leaving us to be raised
By the horrors she left behind.
Knowing the chances were slim
For us both to survive.

Even if we did make it,
The damage was already done.
Every waken moment
In all the dysfunction,
Where our everyday life
Was about self preservation.

Spoils of parent’s emotional wars
Includes the innocence lost
From the children caught in the middle.
Who like us end up experiencing
What it is to become the victims
Of their parents irreconcilable differences.

Ria 2016