I 'Did' Want To Talk…
... because I didn't want the pills to block,
I didn't want the nightmares.
I didn't want the flash-backs, slap-bang on the bus, reading books, watching films,
seeing nothing on the telly.
Didn't want my kid to see me sobbing uncontrollably
out of nothing.
She was five and what she needed was for me to stay awake, stay alive,
so I forced myself to find a way,
to carry on being Mum,
to find some semblance of normality.
Didn't want to rattle on the way home from the pharmacy
or seek my older sanctuary,
wrapped in cotton wool
to numb the sense
of who I am and what had happened;
the chasm now between me and the people
and never will.
I hated them and craved their quiet lives and inner peace,
days when they did not need to explain the scars away
or the ceiling-leap reflex to a rummage
in the drawer
or the absence of a father
or why we had to move.
And everybody said how fucking terrible it was
and how they never thought he'd do it
but the questions and the judgements
rolled in daily, unintentional but still
that word 'deserve'
that word 'provoke'
that subtle nudge of blame,
'What did you do? What did you say?'
Like there could be an explanation
for the frenzy.
Like you could justify
the five steps from the kitchen to the slaughter.
I did want to talk.
I wanted exorcision
from the silvershine reflected in his eye, in his hand,
from the hilt buried deep in his fist, meant for me
the only thing that I could see for years in my dreams,
and his face
and the noise he made above me.