tell me how to stay calm

The devil in the details
Like the thought of knowing it is Grandpa
Not the neighbors not a trusted friend but Grandpa
It is the knowing, she said
It is the seeing and having to live with it
It would have been easier numb!
She cried,
Clutched at the hems of her dress
Bit her teeth
Let them flow
Tears, hot
No need to touch to know

Calm down, he urged
How? She asked.
Just tell me how to go to grand ma and not hate her,
For watching
For turning her back
And pretending that you were insane
Insane people wouldn’t know where to touch
And tear
Insane people wouldn’t know to switch off the lights
To tread with care

It would hurt
I know it would,
But it would hurt a little less
If I didn’t have to remember every feel of the hands over my skin
If it wasn’t so familiar to the arms,
The arms I ran into when thunder struck
The arms that shielded me from the big bad ram
The arms that were to protect me from harm
Those arms grabbed me firm,
Those arms pulled at my perm
Those callous coarse arms
That I washed off the earth and cleaned from digging arrow roots
 Held me back and shut my mouth
Shut in fact my sanity
For nothing would have made me scream,
Nothing would have made me cry
I was stunned
I was frozen
I was scared,
Tell me how I am to stay calm

Give me answers she prodded,
I am sorry, he said.
I know you are its all you ever are!
I want to stay calm. Tell me how to do it.
I am sorry,
I failed you; he added moving a step closer
Her hand moved from hem
She stood firm
Fixed her eyes on his
She cried reminiscing the days he looked at those eyes
And the how she once loved to see them each morning
She was at war within
He was at war too
Another step
She cocked the shotgun looked even sterner
I will do it her stance said
I don’t want to do it, don’t make me her eyes said
He inched even closer
Barrel on his chest pressing at his aged sternum
I am sorry, I really am
Tears and mucus spattered everywhere
She looked away from his tearing eyes
In that fraction he pulled the trigger
Bursting his chest open
He went as silent as he’d come into her room

She hit at his lifeless frame
You can’t
You don’t get to do that
You still owe me answers!
She opened her mouth to taste the steel
She never knew what it tasted like
There wasn’t enough time for the thought to be registered.

To all the children going through darkness your sunshine will come, it will be okay I pray.

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