Bad Men and Mondays

Shouts and scuffles
disheveled bags, slamming doors

pointed parting words:

“I’ll be back for the rest later.”

All before breakfast.

Daddy had, of course, done this before

but even a six year old could tell this time
was different.

Maybe because Mommy wasn’t crying
like she used to.

Only two weeks until Christmas and
the lights within were starting to dim.

Connor was quietly questioning,
increasingly wrestling with
the demons of divorce.

Nightmares were driving into Mommy’s room.

This night he curls up against my chest,
compressed like a fetus

As if wishing he was now what he was then.

At 4 AM, he wakes me with whispers.
“Bad men broke in and were torturing us.”

Then he asks
to stay home from school.

“Why, baby?”

He grabs my face and puts a small hand on each cheek

“Because,” he pleads, “I need to see
your beautiful face.”

And he did.

All day.


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