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They say this is the darkest, most quiet time of the night.
Well, whoever “they” are, they are wrong.
Oh so very wrong.
Whiskey on his breath, marijuana on his skin,
He fumbles with the keys, desperate for a way in.
He curses, kicking empty beer cans.
He finally manages to open the door.
I pray he’ll just go to sleep.
Unfortunately, not all prayers are heard.
That night must have been a busy night at Heaven’s post office.
He’ll come to my room first, as this is his routine.
And everyone knows, Daddy isn’t a man to break routine.
I count his muffled steps, stumbling across the floor.
One. Two. Three. Four.
The doorknob turns, ever so silently.
Can’t wake anyone, oh that would be bad.
Can’t wake anyone, oh that would make Daddy mad.
He makes his way to my bed and sits down next to me.
I lay motionless, as quiet as I can, and pray he’ll go away.
He must have heard my heart pounding anxiously,
for he wakes me anyway.
Wake up my beautiful. Daddy wants to play.
I don’t like Daddy’s games, he never plays fair.
He lifts up my nightgown as he brushes back my hair.
His fingers touch my skin. I am frozen to the bone.
A chill runs up my spine. All Daddy does is grin.
Even so young, so fragile, so unknowing, I know this cannot be right.
This is not the way for a father to love a child.
He makes me swear I won’t tell anyone, not even Mommy.
He tells me Mommy wouldn’t like this game we play.
Says, Trust me. We’ll get in trouble. Swear to me you won’t say.
No child likes to be in trouble, and every child trusts their Daddy.
He finishes with a drunken moan, stands up to put his clothes back on.
Now he’ll leave me here, confused and completely alone.
Sticky and dirty, he’ll leave me to cry myself to sleep.
I love you, beautiful, he whispers in my ear.
And when he leaves, the silence and darkness take over again.