lay down now, little sister

i still see him
walking up and down the darkened street
he held a shotgun in his hands
he held our lives as he always had
and two faces too little to be seen
were peeking over the edge of the windowsill
and i was whispering hollow words
lay down now, little sister
it’s just some cats running through the garbage cans

and for the fear he brought down
a father’s raucous shouts and a mother’s terrified cries
shatter the quiet of the night
would he shoot the gun?
she knew very well he might
and she waited
for the night to edge a little toward the light
and when the neighbors said settle down
or we’re calling the police, man
i thought
they’ll take you in and dry you out
and i hope you never get out of the can!

but for any of you who have ever tried
to reason with a wickedly drunken man
well, you know the decision to put the gun down
wasn’t made out of love at all
he just stepped wrong took a little fall
and it dropped from his unsteady hands….
now i don’t know how we ever did it
how we managed to pretend it never happened
our eyes would meet but we’d just look away
and two faces, too little to understand
but never too old to pretend
to be sleeping
in their beds
in that house
in the way that only scared little kids can
lay down now, little sister
it’s just some cats running through the garbage cans…

lay down now, little sister

greeneyedlady

Joined March 2008

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