Her and Him

By R. Todd Fredrickson

 ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​​​ 

-her and him-

Born of a quiet nature

they called me shy.

I know now

I was simply trying to stay out of the fire,​​ 

self-preservation.

I am five,

maybe six, nobody seems to recall

that time.

Pictures from then depict eyes of ghosts.

 

The separation

was swift,

like the removal of a scab from a heel

when taking off a sock.

 

There is pain,

but it’s unclear why.

 

During rare visits with​​ her

I feel like a stranger,

but things seem normal for them

already.

 

When the visit is over

my brother and I are picked up by​​ him,

the car smells like stale booze

and his eyes are filled with rage.

He is angry because we waved

goodbye

to our other family,

which includes​​ her

new man.

 

I go hungry that night

because the half empty bottle of something

has coaxed​​ him​​ to sleep,

and I had learned by then

not to poke the bear.


About The Author

R. Todd Fredrickson is a northwest author living in Snohomish County, Washington. For more information follow him on twitter at:

www.twitter.com/rtfredrickson