A Child's Ordeal
He pointed his finger right at me
In an accusatory way.
I did not flinch. I pointed back,
Pointed as if to say.
What is it that you think I’ve done?
Look upon my face.
I’ve done no wrong. I’ll not be judged.
It’s you who’ve fallen from grace.
I remember this scene after many long years
As if it were yesterday.
I remember my mother shielding me
And helping me get away.
And as I escaped she stood right there
Taking each and every blow.
She would hide the bruises she suffered
So no one else would know.
But I knew.
I thought of it every night.
I wondered how I could change things
To make everything all right.
How do you make decisions like this
When you are only eight?
To know that your own father
Is filled with so much hate.
I could not run, leave things undone
While my mother was black and blue.
And so I planned his fate.
I knew what I would do.
I poured the poison in his bottle
And watched as he drank.
He drank the whiskey as I watched
And to the floor he sank.
I was found not guilty in the court
For I was only eight.
We were on our own, my mother and I
With this terrible weight
That played upon the both of us
On all the days that came.
Many a night when I would cry
My mother took the blame.
I saw in her eyes sadness
But no more black and blue.
I still see his finger pointing at me,
But what else could I do?
Edwina Reizer's Other Poems
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