You mumble,
You kids shouldn’t have been bloody born, and the door slams.
We stand naked, feet glued to the kitchen floor, and already
the cold is playing with our minds. We watch a tiny flame
in the fire grate, but darkness takes it away. Our moon has
fallen from the sky, imaginations stuck in the black of our eyes.

Counting the ticks on the clock, 1, 2, 3, seconds, minutes, hours,
freezing: it’s our own fault, we shouldn’t have been born.
Our blood drains through holes in our feet, where blackpats
continue to torment us. We hear you arguing, Mam screaming,
I didn’t want the kids in the first place. I wish I were dead.

It’s the silence that makes us cry, hands touching each other’s,
pretending they didn’t. Our imaginations return with blurred
vision. The stairs creak, and room fills with your anger.
One of us falls and the floor shakes with quiet explosion.
You return to your bed, slamming the light under the door.

The lifeless fire responds with a glow only we can see.
Turning our heads to the window, we watch the hills take shape,
holding the night behind thin glass, where winter is more silent,
more secretive. You smother us with unstoppable rage; all shadows
are hidden from the light. Why are we not yet your children?

Rowland Hughes ©