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5, 6, 7, 8

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“Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls. It’s time to start the show!”

5, 6, 7, 8

On the television set

5, 6, 7, 8

It’s a routine

You didn’t listen until the sounds of their voices were louder than those on the television set.

You didn’t actually listen until a thud shook the house like nothing else.

You didn’t think it was necessary.

They did this a lot, but never like this.

Was it ever like this?

You can never recall.

Go wait in your room, he had said.

She had protested.

Go wait in your room now, he had said.

You'd never done anything else but obey.

But today…

The thud and the scream were more than enough.

To keep you

Tied

Upstairs

You didn't want to listen, but today you had to

White knuckles.

Peering over the banister scene.

No yellow plastic tape yet.

No yellow plastic tape ever.

Never.

He starts up the carpeted walk and you back away

His hand is bigger than you remember.

It is bigger as it meets you.

It stings more than it used to.

The floor feels harsher than it did last Wednesday, doesn’t it.

Across the face.

Into the gut.

Falling down

To the smooth carpeted floor.

It’s a routine.

5, 6, 7, 8

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls,

It’s time to start the show.

Face.

Gut.

Fall.

Floor.

5, 6, 7, 8





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