I was cuffed

Ankle and wrist

When it was read to me

A warrant citing injury

Domestic Violence

First degree

Another drunken felony

This time

Something different

Something worse

The unthinkable

Hard knuckles to a soft face

Followed by a mother’s yelp

Children

Call for help

I don’t want you injured or dead

Or hiding under the bed

Monsters are real

Out you go

Up up up

Over the window sill

Into the night

Run babies run

Look for blue light

But

Beyond what was read

Or whatever’s been said

I’ve no recollection

Or memory

Save one:

YOU staring up at me

With the watery eyes of a frightened Christ

Spilling over with love and condemnation

What can I say?

What am I to pray?

Head bowed low with nowhere to go

Only this:

May God damn rid me of every demon and ghost

And may He heal you, precious lamb, to the uttermost
_______________
Andrew Dabar