The Gatekeeper

Father said that compliance was the gatekeeper of life.
A concept not easily embraced by the mind of a boy.
Obedience from wife and child
was a man’s entitlement.
Mouth shut.
Ears open.
Obey, respect, praise, pray.
When Mother was raped,
I was mute.
When her wounds wept,
I shivered frozen rage.
Belittled, afraid, angry, ashamed.
Locked in compliance.
Silenced.


In my head they would come,
the heros and giants.
She died.
I was ten.
She was blue.
A crumpled rag doll despatched to a hole
in the yard.
He cursed into glasses of malt and I cried,
but not loud.
Months became years, slowly turning
the fears to new stirrings. A giant emerging,
heroic, maybe.
And I grew and he shrank as he drank as I grew
and I knew, in my heart, the Gatekeeper was lost.
He lay in his bed, still ranting
and spewing out desperate prayers
that sank in the void of his desolate stare.


I took Mother’s hand
and I never let go.
The pillow felt soft as we walked up the stairs.

About ShirleyB

I was born with the muse in me. Sometimes I wish it would go away but it won't, so, good, bad or ugly it will escape intermittently.
This entry was posted in Life & Emotion, Poems In Text. Bookmark the permalink.

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