Posts Tagged ‘bats’

Meeting Anger

My little brother and I sat on the back porch steps,
huddled into the thin wisps of each other’s bodies,
weeping. Though there is no photo of this,
I see it as if it is framed. It is summer.
The house behind us is yellow.
We are wearing more skin than clothes,
and our arms are slender ribbons binding us.
Inside, our parents are shouting. I am five,
and it is the first time I have heard them fight.
I don’t know what the argument is about,
but their voices escape the walls on black wings
and circle my brother and me like bats.
Once the yellow walls are quiet again,
my mother finds us huddled on the stairs
and wraps her wide arms around us both.
I beg her, Please, don’t get a divorce.
She tells me when people shout
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.
That is the first moment I understand
I do not understand anger.

It will be years before I am frightened to discover
all the black wings that roost inside me—
a cauldron of anger that colonizes in the dark.
It will be years before I learn to be more curious
than fearful. Years before I can hear the dark flutterings
and not shut down. Years before I can say to anger, thank you.
Years before I notice when anger arrives,
it always has something to teach me.

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