Sunday, April 3, 2016

A poem by Miki Byrne


Our parents
lived in jagged silences.
Stretched drum taut.
Wound to a tight spiral
that drilled nerves raw.
Brought expletives, missiles,
an occasional shuddering cease-fire
as the juggernaut stilled.
We sat wide-eyed, trembling.
Frozen into immobility
lest movement provoke wrath,
pierce the invisibility of stillness.
Communication occurred
by notes taped to the grim white faces
of fridge, cooker,
the kettles bellied curve.
They went to work, returned,
walked through the motions
of domesticity.
Their lives moved in the same direction,
yet did not touch,
like marbles rolled
round a biscuit-tin lid.
We zoned out on white noise
that hissed and clattered
upon the ear.

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