On What Day Does the Story End

The stainless steel park bench skeletons her body,
(she has enough stains without the need for more)
Eight faded pages of a Murdoch broadsheet make a
poor substitute for even the most threadbare blanket

Overhead a silver jet-stream slashes across the cold blue sky,
on the park bench she contemplates her wrists and the
rubber gripped (so it won’t slip when wet) Jamie Oliver
carving knife that she has just stolen from Westfield.

Her mind drifts without permission and she can smell
the many legs of lamb she has seen him cook on TV
No Tom Cruise for her she thought, she would rather have
a last meal instead of a last fuck – no one wants to die hungry

She reads the billboard across the other side of the park,
“Having a gun in a domestic violence situation increases
the women’s risk of being killed by 500%” and laughs ironically,
what about the 500% guarantee of sending them crazy as well

He never hit her or shot the gun, it was the psychological that got
to her, the verbal threat that never eventuated, the raised
hand that never landed a blow, for she could never tell
On the edge, it was the not knowing that was killing her

Alone, her mother and father dead, or would be he said,
if she ran home to them and told them lies about him
She worked three jobs, he sat home and drank, she stuffed
her mouth with him whenever he said – gun play overhead

Months had passed since the day her tears stopped falling and she
had disappeared into the night time never ever land of the unseen,
feeling safer there than living with him, but even that couldn’t last
She looked at the knife – on what day does the story end

On What Day Does the Story End

Tony Mutton

Brisbane, Australia

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