Quiet Monsters

There is a split in your lip that
Wasn’t there before
And you are trying to hide
Inside a bathrobe with the collar turned up
When breakfast wasn’t made I knew
It’s always the same signs
The nervous finger tap-tap-tapping
The same far-off staring
Maybe you’re thinking about regrets
Or when you were a little girl feeling happy for once
He’s a quiet monster
With knuckles that are always shiny and scuffed
When he comes to the table I look at the
Black and white wedding photo of you two
A couple of kids smiling, beaming really
You’ve been a good mother but I need a woman
Who can show me strength
Show me how to fall into the right arms
Or else fight back
Now you flinch
When Dad flicks the newspaper open
The dog has long ago run away
And tonight, after school,
I’ll have done the same

Len Kuntz is a writer from Washington State, an editor at the online magazine Literary Orphans, and the author of I’m Not Supposed to Be Here and Neither Are You, out now from Unknown Press. You can also find him at http://lenkuntz.blogspot.com.

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