I live in an attic at the top of the stairs,
with my battered childhood teddy bears.
Searching for dreams among the nightmares,
and in spite of the screams,
in spite of the violence,
I know I must keep my silence.
I’m scared I might become a refugee,
taken away from our family,
I stand at the window and make a sign,
so everybody knows that I’m fine.
Time is on your hands,
your kids rolling in the street,
walking in fleet,
enemies getting beat.
Dad in the pub
drinking with the fleet,
wondering when he’s coming home,
stroking your hair with a comb.
He staggers in looking like a ghost,
wondering who he loves the most,
his kid or his wife,
trying to sort his life,
kid in fright,
wondering when his Mum and Dad will start the fight.
Bang bang, as his fist hits the door like police storming the house.
Roaring, demanding for me to open the door.
As I hide under the bed,
then SLAM as the lock breaks,
and SLAM, he storms in,
he grabs me, drags me, from under the bed.
He pulls me up furious, with rage in his eyes,
as his back hand slaps me back to the ground.
Trying to get up he puts his foot on my spine,
then forces me to the ground, yelling
“Do as I say, I am your master, you do as I say!”
As he slams my face into the ground
it feels like driving into a brick wall.
As I lift myself in a daze, I’m locked in his gaze –
is this the end of my days?
As he rams his foot inside like a knife in butter,
I look up as he strolls away all tall and grey,
as I lay in pain and sorrow,
then I gain the strength to lift myself
and stagger to the door as if I must win the war.
I slump and sigh and shrink down the stairs,
I see my Mum, she asks how I am,
I don't dare to say this is a nightmare,
I settle for “I’m fine”.
I live in a boxing ring
with words that wound and fists that sting,
ducking beneath my father’s swing.
And then my Mum steps in,
even before they got engaged
it was like they were living in a bare knuckle cage.
I felt my Mum’s fear and my father’s rage,
my younger sister and me felt like we were referees,
when would we ever be free.
Both our words combine,
we look at each other and say