Knife Party 

Do you like ghost stories? When I was little, my friends and I liked to tell ghost stories

Stories we heard, but never encountered ourselves

My friends ask me “are you afraid of ghosts”

“Yes”, I lied

The truth is, I’m not afraid of ghosts,

There are other things in the night much more frightening

Like the voices I hear through the wall

The voices start off with exchange of words, which may seem harmless

But I’ve seen how words – even when softly spoken- cut like sharp knives and for years you bleed

The walls are thin and I hear

Mom with her pocket knife jabs dad

Once

Twice

Dad uses the word darling a lot, as if to remind himself what it was once like

The sweeter days I only know of through the tales they tell

Another jab

Dad snaps

Time to pull out his knife.

But Dad doesn’t use a pocket knife

Dad carries a machete and one blow is one too many

Mom is too proud to cry

Dad bangs his fist on the table

I tremble

Mom says you’ll wake the kids

Dad yells let’s wake the kids so they can witness how vicious their mother is

I turn to my brother, his eyes shut as he lies on his side of the bed

I do not ask if he’s awake

I have no strength for words

I lay in silence, wondering how this knife party will end

The voices grow louder

The walls are thin but they do not hear my silent screams

My heart races when I hear the door knob turn, sounds of footsteps inching closer

I squeeze my eyes shut

footsteps turn into loud voices – this time on my side of the wall

A voice calls out my name

My heart stops

They knew I was awake

More loud voices

My brother does a better job pretending.

Mom tells dad you’re a madman

Dad raises his hand

I look into dad’s eyes,

But the angry eyes glaring back at me aren’t dad’s eyes

This isn’t the man who sang me lullabies

Daddy, you promised I wouldn’t have nightmares

But now you’re the reason for my nightmares

Mom pulls me closer

She thinks her embrace will shelter me

I push her hand away

Don’t touch me mommy, I know I’m a product of regret,

Cut me open and see for yourself

You told me my blood type is B

I know what it stands for

B for bitterness.. B for broken… B for barbwire, that’s what I use to protect my heart so I don’t need your frail arms to protect me mom!

I pretend to be okay

I’m not good at pretending to be asleep, but I’m good at pretending.

I go to school the next morning and pretend to be cheerful

Exchanging ghost stories with friends, pretending to be scared

Secretly wishing to have ghosts as visitors for the night

I would ask the ghosts to take me along. set me free, once and for all

From the voices I hear through the wall

(Photo credit: http://giovanna-fotos.photoshelter.com/index)

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