Cold, blue, wet, fragile, brittle, hard, steam solidified, water hardened, anger, fear, white, tensile,
water hardened; you lie
in her wintered veins.
"If she's awake, I'll **** you."
staccato words spoken
like a knife blade thrown...
...with malice and intent.
Her father's voice
from the bedroom next door
no sound of her mother.
The female child cowered
under her candy-striped sheets
their usual soft comfort
door handle moving
light seeping into her sanctuary
her heart thudded
trying to escape her chest
as she held her breath.
"Please, please don't hear me."
a silent plea as
fear snatched her in its icy grip.
She could smell him
smell the cigarettes
smell his power.
He backed out
returned to her mother
between her heartbeats
she heard the slap
"You are lucky this time,
*****. She sleeps."
Heavy footsteps down the stairs
punctuated by her mother's tears.
The girl child had only ever blamed her mother
decades of anger and bitterness
the memory of this night buried deep.
Crazed hard ice beneath the tundra of her life.
In the third decade of the girl child's life
her mother died
never forgiven for what she hadn't done
nor for what she had.
The ice remained in the girl child's veins
If anything, thicker...harder.
Then in her fifth decade this ice became water
as with the passage of life the tundra thawed
and rising with it to the surface
The girl child worked hard at staying warm
at keeping the ice at bay.
Nothing was ever said to her father.
In her sixth decade the girl child's father died
embraced in his daughter's arms
forgiven for what he had done
and for what he hadn't.
The woman had finally thawed
she was properly warm
her own love
finally able to flow