I, Me, My

She is forty five and afraid to speak.
Numbness oozes slowly through her body
like cake batter thickening in the heat.
Her docile homemaking hands sit
palms up, in her lap, awaiting the next rain.

Her mind is awake, contrary to popular
belief and it is knotting words together like
"nice," "pretty," "good," and "wife."
Other words being to straddle them;
"No," "Angry," "Why" --
new words like, "I," "Me," "My."
And the secret films begin to run in her brain;
her hands come alive with the feel
of his hair entwined in her fisted fingers
and she hears the thick dull sound
of his head striking the pavement,
feels the weight of his skull as she
sits docile in her yellow kitchen.

When there is no violence, there is violent silence
hanging, waiting to be pummeled into sound.
She raises her fingers to her cheekbone
to feel the purple, swollen with those words.
She has six hours till children, eight hours
to remember, to say "I," "Me," "My."

Billie Livingston
Vancouver, B.C.

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