My First Broken - Poem by Shirley Alexander
I carry a small black pouch in my heart.
Baggage packed in the seventies
is now carefully buried;
hidden in smiles and laughter
to be opened and sorted
in the darkness of winter nights.
I slept through nine years of my life;
slept walking, talking, eating,
going through the movements;
hiding in shadows of drawn drapes,
and covers of heavy clothing;
afraid of sharp corners and quick eyes;
nine years of fever nights,
waiting stone still for breathing sounds
from the hard side of the bed;
waiting to move numbly
through my own dark house,
frantic hands trembling
as I emptied the chambers
of his hidden guns.
And, that is why
I cannot trust.
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