Thursday 13 October 2022

Two Voices

by Nick Gisburne

I hear them, through the wall, the brick, the wood.
The words are muddy, muffled, never clear.
Emotions. Fervid, fully understood.
Two voices. One is fury. One is fear.
His rage erupts in sharp, staccato bursts,
Her misery a constant, mournful moan.
A gulp, a glass; he drinks, but still he thirsts.
A struggle. Screaming. Begging him. A groan.
The pain is his, the spiteful snarling hers.
I hear a kick, a cough, a spluttered choke,
And venom, vile, a savage stream of slurs.
The scratching of a match. Her breathing. Smoke.
    When mother comes to tuck me into bed,
    Her hands are shaking, fingers swollen, red.