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.
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.
In my head they would come,
the heros and giants.
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,
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.