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Scarred

"Mother, what is wrong with that man?",
A small child asked his mother,
“Why is he saying those things to you?”
on the walk home one Sunday evening
after church,
“Come on sweetie, don’t stare.”
and the mother moved her son along.

When the little boy grew up he learned
what was wrong with that man he saw
so many years ago with his mother.
For the same thing was wrong with his
father, he was just better at hiding it.
That was until his son learned what
the dark marks on his mother’s arms
were. He used to see them when she
tucked him in at night. One night he asked her,
“Mother, what is wrong with your arms?”
His mother kissed his forehead, told
him she loved him, then went back to her
husband.

Now that the boy is older, and can
recognize what the dark marks on her
fragile skin are,
and what whiskey smells like on his
father’s breath when he came home
from a “long night at work”,
and the screams he heard weren’t the
TV, and why his father never went
to church with them.

Sitting in between those three
stone walls, the shadows of bars
across that young mans face, he
drifted off into a nightmare;

He was a young boy, holding his
mother’s hand, one Sunday evening
after church, they walked by a man,
laying on the sidewalk he looked
weathered, and old, his skin tough
like leather, he has a brown paper
bag in his hand from which he was
drinking something out of that
smelled like the stuff daddy would
put in his coffee cup.
The man screamed bad things at
his mother, then suddenly the
man turned into his father, and
starting hitting his mother, the
boy stabbed his father six times
in the chest with a pocket knife.

The young man woke up in a cold
sweat,
he wondered how many nights he
would have to re-live his father’s
death.



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