When the Shutters Close

shutters

 

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

spoke aloud:

I am a survivor.

Faces

faces

Remember me

The kid you put all your energy toward

Without knowing why

Just because

In a moment

You decided today was going to be

My destiny in your hands

~

Funny thing a face

Can be recalled

More quickly when alone

Rather than in a crowd

Seems every instance of pain

Amplifies the surrounding

Elements of discord

~

A year away and you’ll forget

So many faces have crossed

Paths with your angst

A simple pleasure, whilst

That individual cried out-loud

Walking toward you

Reflection of another day

~

Imagine how we might embarrass a bully

With an altogether assortment of faces

A Bully Moment (Will There Be Shame)

Today’s ‘moment’

Came in a picture

A little boy

And I do mean little

~

Young enough to cry

Innocence that creates naïve

Mystery mixed in with the ugly

Reality of actions that may

Resonate throughout his

Remaining childhood

~

If childhood exists any longer

~

I see the boy standing

With a badge of dishonor

While mom ‘looms’ nearby

Not sure why

But I can’t see any humor

In her eyes

Though there is that pain

I can’t tell in the fuzziness

Of the glossed over moment

Whether there are tears

Or strains of rage

~

Someone took the photo

Who are they?

Family friend of torture

A passerby that knows no

Boundary

Just wants to recognize

A display of pure ugliness

~

Who am I today

Another passerby

Noticing a moment

A little boy

Carrying a sign

With pain in his eyes

I wonder about him in ten years

When he reflects upon this day

~

Will there be shame?bully

Bully

I don’t like you

You scare me

When you look happy

I feel threatened

I don’t care about you

Just give me attention

When I hate you

People think I am happy

You understand right?

When I slap you it matters

You’re my investment

I have to hurt you …

So I, uh, well I’m not ready

I won’t apologize

For living this way

Not caring about you

I mean

I don’t know how to

Any more

Than you know how to

Prevent me from

Treating you like a

Discard

Discord

Distance

Dis me

And I will slap you …

People watching

Need to know

I won’t back down

Until you are crying

Until you recognize

The lies that you believe

Are simply the

Why

The why

The lie is why

I want to feel strong

People like me

People choose me

I’m a safe bet

I’m an American boy