Defending the Indefensible

By , Suffern, NY
Red, white, and blue lights
of the police car
outside my house
after my father lunges at my mother.
The action has died down,
but I called them when the war
still raged.
From my nook upstairs I could hear
the screaming.
My sister at my door,
“what are we going to do?”
But I am too scared to peer down the stairs,
even though I can hear his voice
resounding through the walls
reverberating through my ears like gunshots.
So I pick up the phone
and when I turn around, my sister,
my meek baby sister,
has run down the stairs,
“Stop it!”
His eyes beam red, his veins enormous blue tubes,
wine-soaked white foam on his lips,
as he pushes her, now, up against the wall,
“Go upstairs!”
I dial those three little numbers,
explain it all,
give my home address, though I can hardly call this home,
and muster up the courage to walk down
only because reinforcements are on their way.
All I can do is hold her,
all I can do is keep her away from him,
and he says she came after him,
says he just told her to go upstairs,
this is between him and my mother.

When it begins to wind down the lights appear
in front of my house.
They come to the door and ask what happened.
I explain everything,
and my father says he just was having an argument,
just a regular discussion,
simply didn’t want an audience,
had no interest in all this.
I am overreacting.
He is stressed at work,
my mother is stressed at home,
my sister has misplaced concerns.
It is all very simple, really.
No, he did not drink much,
no, he did not touch any of us,
he is a good father,
good husband,
he would never.
At hearing it I want to sew his lips shut
with a glimmering needle and poisoned thread.
I want to tell him
that he is disgusting
that he is worse than a deadbeat
simply because he is here,
attempting to defend the indefensible.





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