The Monster at Home

The school bells ring to mark the end of her day and all she feels is apprehension.
She walks to the library as slow as she can.
After she arrives she finds an empty table way down on the end.
She sits down removing her books from her backpack and proceeds to do her schoolwork.
During study hall she never does her schoolwork
so she'll have to do it in the library after school.
While she's in study hall she likes to read books in order to provide an escape
and to help her forget what's awaiting her at home.
In the library she keeps to herself as she goes about her work
making sure to never look anyone in the eye.
She always looks dirty and unkempt because she will never
take a shower or a bath so long as he is at home.
She finishes her schoolwork just in time as the library is closing.
That feeling of apprehension and dread overcomes her once again.
She never walks straight home detouring through the park
walking just as slow as she can.
On her way through the park she will stop to sit on a bench
only to realize that it's getting very late and she must head home.
Filled with fear and trepidation she rises slowly to her feat
and resumes her slow painful walk home.
She sees her home getting nearer and her fear becomes almost
too much to bare.
She opens the door to her house and the smell of alcohol
and cigarette smoke hangs in the air like a penetrating fog.
She can hear the television blaring as she walks through the door.
She can see her father sitting in his favorite chair
with a beer can sitting next to him on the end table.
As she tries to quickly sneak by she notices that her plan has
worked once again as her father is passed out drunk.
She quietly hurries to her room where she quickly slips out of her clothes
and into her pajamas and quickly slips into bed.
She falls into a fitful and restless sleep until a loud noise
in the hallway startles her awake.
Her fear becomes intense as she waits for the door to her room to open.
Instead she hears her mothers soft and soothing voice as she tries
to get her father off the floor to guide him to bed.
She hears her fathers voice mumbling incoherently
and her heart is in her throat as she watches her bedroom door
in terror waiting for it to open.
But she hears the sound of her parents bedroom door closing
and slowly her fear subsides.
Eventually she falls back into a fitful and restless sleep.

Michael R. Roth

Archived 7/27/2015