It happens regularly by Angela O’Connor


It happens regularly

It’s always the same, usually on a pay night.
The lime coloured van carefully enters the driveway.
Never any damage done to the bougainvillea.

I steal a look from behind the nylon curtains.
Gauge my performance for the next few hours.
Deliberate steps hold the banister too tight.

Fumbling keys and unrelenting locks accompanied with
familiar sworn statements, confirm my expectation.
Be good, sit quiet, say hello and act like normal-the drill.

He’s drunk, very very drunk, it’s Thursday night drunk.
The aroma of Marlboro and beer hits me hard.
Before his lop-sided smile tries to harness his shadow.

Dinner eaten in silence, interrupted only by his bodily functions.
I pray to myself – who else will listen; ‘please have a bath, please
have a bath’. Hoping the hot waters may assuage any fight within.

I lay awake to hear his cleansed but heavy footsteps carry him
away to his version of dreamland.
And now I go to mine, thankful and yet anxious of the next time.

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