The hum of the garage door
The keys in the lock
stop my heart from beating
chokes in my throat
The room closes in
What if you’ve been drinking?
What if you had a bad day?
What if you were behind someone who drove too slow,
or your lunch was not what exactly you had wanted?
What if I forgot to put the mail on the side table?
I’m sure I did, but hearing you move through the kitchen I wonder…
Your footsteps sound too quick
What if the dog jumps on you?
I hear you in the freezer
What if I forgot to fill the ice tray?
Nothing sets you off like an empty tray
I hear you now, taking the stairs two at a time
I pray that the kids stay in their rooms
I think I left the vacuum in the hall
I know that your clothes for tomorrow are not ironed
Please don’t let the chicken be overcooked for dinner
Not knowing is the worst
I hear you calling my name
I still can’t tell your mood
I know you’re moving fast and getting louder
The room looks blurry to me now
My hands start to shake
I hear the door turn
I take a quick breath
and I brace myself
For another Tuesday night.
Carrie Stack, M.Ed. is the founder of the Say Yes Institute, which offers personal and professional training, and has created and led groups that address issues of self-esteem, healthy relationships, domestic violence, effective parenting, and identity development. Her book, Conversations with the Future, is the story of 70 young people in Lynn, and was featured in The Boston Globe and in a month long series on Fox25. She wrote You Are Not A Puzzle Piece based on creating and living the life that you want… not the life that the world may have reserved for you! You’re Home will be included in the upcoming book, Breath of Freedom, which was inspired by the stories of women she worked with at a domestic violence agency. Breath of Freedom uses poems, reflections and affirmations to explore the impact that family violence has on every member of the family. It will be released in the fall of 2006.