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Singing at Sundown

There’s a nightlight in the bathroom

A good way to get a book taken away

Is to sit on the counter and read by it

The elastic on that night gown itched and pinched

A little ruffle around the cuff

Candy pink with flowers on it

A little ruffle by the calf

It’s not completely dark

A fan in the hall whirs to dampen stray noises

Private conversations

Whimpers and pleading

Thuds and crying

Yelling and misery

A good night is quiet

Not too quiet though

When something brews in that silence

I began to sing

I am a child of god and

this is my father’s world

grace would be amazing if it arrived in time

Can my voice stay the hands that violate

And would they have me sing in front of crowds

Using the voice that protected me

(or tried to)

I gave my voice away as an adult

I gave it to my babies when they struggled to sleep

I gave it to the dishes when they were dirty

I sang the floors clean and the dust away

I sang to the falling waters

To seedlings and horses

I made up songs and story songs to entertain

Rambunctious children

As they grew we sang together at the table

(this was never allowed to me when I was young)

This voice that falters in front of a camera

How a camera triggers

Being photographed and video’d


Being shoved forward to perform

The grand lie of a happy home

We’re a happy family

We’re a happy family

Me mom and daddy


There’s a soft glow worm finger puppet

that provides a tiny light in the dark

while I sing myself forward

out of a nightmare

and into life

Photo Credit

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