I was small.
Running up the stairs.
I heard him yell,
“I’m going to kill you!”
Under the wooden table.
The tiny table.
At the end of the bed.
Until the Beast found me.
He tried to grab me.
Yank me out, hitting me.
I cried heavily.
“Fine! Stay under there!”
And so, I stayed.
Curled up in a ball.
Until his door closed for his nap.
Until the sun dropped down below the shade
Its shadows lapping at the floor.
Until I heard my mother
Come through the back door.
The Beast awoke again,
To have a meal before work.
He stared at me later,
as if he didn’t remember.
I was scared. So scared.
So scared his threat was true.
He didn’t remember anything at all,
but still my little heart thought that’s what he would do.
Maybe I’m still that little girl.
Hiding underneath that small wooden table.
Taking everything too seriously, even then.
Maybe I should have just stayed under.
Under his thumb, his belt, his anger.
Maybe if I had, it would have been safer.
Then always constantly running away
in an effort to remain safe, hidden,
in some new space.
Where no one can see your real face
and know just how frightened you really are.
Maybe I’m still that little girl. Hiding underneath that small wooden table. Taking everything too seriously, even then.