His Hobby

No one ever knew what he did with his hands
when he wasn’t bent double,
pounding nails into the roof of the church,
fixing the furnace, the air conditioner.
He worked the sound board on Sundays,
trusted fingers pushing buttons up and down.
I watched, trapped in his prison of lap,
my pulse flapping like fast wings.

At home, the smell of fried chicken steaming
through holes in a fast food bucket
signaled his once a week visit.
Mother, so troubled herself, never thought twice
about our afternoon naps.

I keep his hands locked in a closet of past,
knuckles like knobs, skin on the palms winter-stiff,
scraping the curb of my emerging breast,
trampling a print through the opening
Y of my thighs, my eyelids squeezed tight
as if slamming on brakes, as if I would hear
the screech of a train stopping.

10 comments

  1. Kerri,

    I celebrate this poetry. I curse the deed that inspired it.

    You address an issue that is timeless. The only way to
    put a stop to such abuse is to bring it into the spotlight.
    You do that so beautifully with your talent as a poet…
    surely this rates as a highest and best use of the pen.

    Hugs,
    sarah

    Like

  2. Hi Kerri

    This is startling, poignant and brilliantly written. I think you handle this personal and very painful subject matter with intensity and truth. Your voice shines in this piece echoing how the victim feels and the need to close it out with always recognizing the horrible aspect of his character and behavior. These lines are riveting and haunt the reader with their ferocity but also the tenacity on the part of the narrator to survive.

    knuckles like knobs, skin on the palms winter-stiff,
    scraping the curb of my emerging breast,
    trampling a print through the opening
    Y of my thighs, my eyelids squeezed tight
    as if slamming on brakes, as if I would hear
    the screech of a train stopping.

    I agree with Sarah, this I poetry to be celebrated for its truth and tesitimony as well as the courage it take to write. Thank you for sharing this.

    Hope all is well with you and yours in these frigid temps
    God Bless you and your family.
    Take care
    wendy

    Like

  3. Thank you so much Sarah and Wendy
    and the people that spent time reading my poem.

    Wendy,
    It has been crazy, brutally cold here.
    Luckily, we’ve had little snow this year
    which I am thankful for.
    I guess it all went to the eastern USA.

    But today it hit 30F
    and I’m doing a happy dance!
    It’s all relative.

    My best to everyone.
    Kerri

    Like

  4. Dear Kerri

    This is really something.

    There’s something incredibly skilful in creating outrage in the reader without relying on outrage in the language …

    …and you’ve done it right here.

    Dramatic, powerful, sensitive and eloquent poetry. I’m quite awed.

    Best wishes,

    Mark.

    Like

  5. The almost introspective tone of these lines makes them hit home with the impact of a sledgehammer.

    A difficult, difficult subject, tackled in a manner that says more than a million headlines every could.

    Bravo! Douglas.

    Like

  6. Kerri I applaud your bravery to share this with the Pub.. Sadly to say I am more than familiar with the contents
    of this write.
    Blessings
    Deb

    Like

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