you are eight or nine years old and you are asleep . . .

It is early morning, about five or so . . .

The door opens.
You do not hear it.
Footfalls across cheap linoleum . . .

You do not see.

You dream again
caught in an endless dream
of nightmares and battles,
of being beaten, or

loss of love; your friends ripped away and gone.
Your dog dead.
Trapped in your dream, you squirm,
nose twisted up against the wallboard
smelling paint and the cool odors
of the air beneath the bed.

Sheets rustle.
You do not feel them.
You do not hear them.
You are trapped within this dream

and suddenly!

oh so suddenly!

A hard hand like a muddy fist grasps you around the ankle
swings you into the air
and you are left gasping out of your dream
like a fish yanked, jerking, from the water
as the hammering comes on down . . .

Down, down, goes the fist
down comes the hand
you squirm in the darkness, not yet screaming
the hand comes down again
against your back and your buttocks
something is streaming
is it blood?
No, it is simply tears
tears of your own making
as you simply dissolve away
hanging upside down in the darkness
as the beating goes on . . .

Waking up.

It’s such a usual thing.

and a wonderful way to start the day.

(“Wake up bright eyes!  Bushy tailed and beaten and abused!  Are you ready for work today?”)

and the hands gently guiding you
towards the breakfast table where awaits you
is the hatefilled eyes of your brother
the tired eyes of your mother
while the hawklike shrouded eyes of your father looks on
hand in fist
eyeing you.

and you shudder.

remembering this morning

and what went on . . .