Ruth Walters (London, U.K.)
Hammers (A trilogy)
The hammer is inside my head,
it's a never ending drum beat
that is my husband, berating me.
As his key turns in the lock
my blood pressure
He'll check the wallpaper
for marks that the children
may have made.
He'll demand I keep them quiet,
take them away,
They are only toddlers
and I have only
one pair of hands
but he'll moan about it
until he goes to bed at
As he gets into bed
his moaning will stop
but my head still aches
then at 7 while he shaves,
he'll continue to remonstrate
he won't stop
and I'm sure he's still talking
as he walks to the station.
It's the hammering,
the constant hammering
and it's driving me insane -
one day the hammer will fall.
How many nails do I have to have
hammered into my brain to realise
we don't fit?
This liaison has always been flawed.
Gel, we never did, but we had passion.
A wealth of it.
Should I take this hammer
and strike the final blow?
I don't know.
Hammers strike memories,
as though they're all piano keys
and the sound is harsh..
They have me re-visiting old war wounds
that I should have buried years ago.
They are awakening.
They've been dormant for so long.
Maybe I should have had one final strike
and put them to rest.
The trouble is, if I pick up the hammer
and strike the first blow,
I may never stop.
She took a hammer to the mirror,
the paintings, the vase, the table
and battered them to death.
She took a hammer to the car,
its bonnet, its boot and its roof
and made dents.
She took a hammer to her heart,
hit it hard, tried to gouge it out
with its claw
and then she realised -
it was already dying; bleeding,
all over the floor.
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