Relax, smile, and blank them out.
I did that a lot,
smiled and looked relaxed,
even when I wasn’t.
The electrical cord whistles
before hitting my body,
wherever it lands.
I’m tied face down
to the cots four corners,
for some ridiculous reason
and never let go a sound
never let go a whimper
never let go a tear
He then whips harder
my blood lands all over
and I am far away, deep inside
watching a movie with friends,
them saying, ‘we’re with you,
and you’re winning this game’.
He is dripping sweat
I am dripping blood.
His arm gives up before me.
He unties me and says
put your clothes on
and join the family.
My back and butt and legs and head
are crisscrossed with darkening welts.
I slowly pull my clothes on
over the stinging new injuries.
Me and my friends join the family
relaxed, smiling and victorious.
Blanking people out.
He was the first one.
Then there were others.
He’d say one thing, do another.
He’d come home drunk
and wreak havoc on us all.
Then he’d pull me aside and say
You are the man of the house
and in charge, when I die.
At 13, I didn’t want to be the man
in charge, while fantasizing his death,
and now never wanting him to die.
I don’t recall when blanking began,
but when I felt attacked by others
I’d blink, and they would disappear.
We’d still laugh and talk and relate,
but they were just a living ghost,
of no importance in my life.
There’d be internal voices wanting control.
I’d listen to the one that spoke loudest
or made the most sense at the time.
Sometimes a voice would speak out
and say something I never would have,
to keep me safe and protected.
This has even happened lately,
when it involves intimacy,
I head for the hills.
Now this many years later,
occurrences many years ago,
continue to wreak havoc today.
In case you are interested, I did forgive him and myself.
I have ‘The End’ and find myself filling in spotty chapters,
while being directed to place words where they will land.
There are no other voices. Just mine, imagined to be different.
So there we have it,
an old story changed,
as change is inevitable.