2. In A Cabin - Poem by Albert Johnson
In a cabin dark and lonely
mother labored, thinking only
that our father shortly would come home.
She had cleaned and swept our dwelling,
though a dungeon, never telling
all the dreadful secrets hidden there.
Now she cooked her husband's meal,
waiting, trying not to feel
the foreboding that preceded his return.
As she toiled, under tension,
filled with fear and apprehension,
the potatoes she was boiling slightly burned.
She removed them from the fire,
made their water level higher,
hoping that her man would never know.
Soon she saw her husband walking,
nervous, greeted him by talking,
asking how his day of work had gone.
Sitting, hungry, not much telling,
he asked, 'What is that I'm smelling?
Did you burn my supper once again? '
'The potatoes scorched while heating, '
she said. Then he started beating
on her head and pulling on her hair.
He'd raged before and now, repeated,
kicked her to the ground, defeated,
as she cowered on the floor and sobbed.
In a lull in her man's fury
she escaped, though could not hurry,
hindered by her pain of flesh and soul.
With blurring tears and glasses broken,
stumbling she hid. Groans unspoken
in the past swept upon her now with words:
'I'd leave my husband if I could,
but I shall not, because I should
stay on to help my youngster boys.
And if I took them all with me
he'd surely find us-it could be
worse than if we'd never tried to run.'
So she returned to that dread house,
and shrank from woman into mouse.
We, her sons, have seen it for ourselves.
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