We live in normal houses
in Midwestern America
we are a concentrated, suburban, legacy
long after we are gone
our worlds will be memory.
Lives have been led
along facades, frames, fades.
We need to recognize
in a word, life isn’t what it seems.
When I look at you across the avenue
I debate about what will happen
when the shutters close.
Same old story perhaps;
what if someone wondered?
How about the truth
that every night
when frustration mounts
you punch your daughter
for your own misgivings!
I noticed the other afternoon
tending your garden
she wore long sleeves in the humidity
such a sweet young smile
hides the pain that well, yeah,
when the shutters close, rage creates.
This morning in class
her monologue brought tears to my eyes
I questioned how such a beautiful woman
survived only menacing glares all night long.
And then her eyes glanced the room
she smiled a lovely elegant manner,
she talked of her mom and how she misses her.
A weep dropped a tear from her eye
that without words anymore
I am a survivor.